Furloughed workers headed back to work, still worried about the future

Furloughed military family heading back to work, still worried about the future

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - 16 days without a paycheck for furloughed workers ended Wednesday night, when President Barack Obama signed a bill to end the partial government shutdown.

But while more than 800 thousand of those government employees will head back to work, local CSRA military families are nervous for the future.

Before the shutdown, Fort Gordon Support Assistant Charlotte Drinkard and her husband, active duty military, usually split the bills. But that changed October 11st, when the government shutdown and both realized they had no idea when they would see a paycheck again.

Drinkard said, "You have to think about, am I going to be able to buy groceries for my kids? Am I going to be able to buy formula for my infant? It's a big question in your mind of what you're going to do."

Drinkard, five months pregnant and already a mom to two, said she and her husband got lucky when they found out he was still going to get a paycheck. But she was furloughed, meaning Drinkard was still going to work, but not getting paid for it.

"You still have to worry about gas back and forth to work and paying that 800 dollars a month for my two girls daycare."

Back pay finally came for Drinkard, when the partial government shutdown ended Wednesday night. But the family's worries haven't gone away.

"At first when we thought we had no income, we felt completely hopeless. There was no game plan. But when we found out my husband was going to get paid, we sat down and redid a budget. We knew we could cover necessities and utilities, but that didn't include groceries. We were going to have to not pay something."

And that something, whatever it may be, is something she never wants her kids to have to go without.

"There are a lot of things that we can give up. But what you didn't have growing up, you want to give your kids. Still, if I continue to get furloughed every year, I won't be able to do that."