Furloughed father of 11 in Winchester speaks out

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WINCHESTER, Ky. (WKYT) - The government shutdown is about to enter a fifth day with no end in sight. And while the finger pointing continues in Washington, thousands of federal workers who have been furloughed are wondering how they'll get by without a paycheck. That includes a central Kentucky man with 11 children.

"I went full-time with the National Guard five years ago," said Joshua Witt, who is a husband and father of 11 children.

He was a state safety officer, responsible for 7,600 soldiers and their safety across the state.

"I didn't think that his job would be at risk," said Julie Witt, Joshua's wife. "So I was really surprised."

He's the only income in the Witt family with Julie Witt being a stay-at-home mom.

"I always tell people it's for job security, and that's really the irony of this week," said Joshua Witt. "I've been part of the biggest layoff in history."

Joshua Witt is one of 800,000 furloughed and now out of work indefinitely.

"I think that's the most difficult part about this is being deemed nonessential," said Joshua Witt.

The effects will kick in as soon as two weeks when his check doesn't show up.

There are many reasons why the government shutdown is a problem for those who have been furloughed. But for the Witt family, there's 11: Cameron, Avery, Lauren, Harrison, Corban, Bristol, Clara, Barrett, Lincoln, Kendall, and Noelle. Their ages range from 17 years to 18 months old. It's a lot of responsibility, but honestly, the Witt family is handling the stress of no income quite well.

"So we are going to begin selling children as it goes into week one," laughed and joked Joshua Witt. "Our children will be available on eBay."

But changes are already being made in their household, turning education into a luxury.

"So that'll probably be the first thing that we look at because we obviously spend a lot of money for our kids' education," said Joshua Witt.

And Witt isn't looking for work elsewhere, staying true to the National Guard as long as he can.

"I'm still confident it will get resolved. It's just a matter of when and how," said Joshua Witt.

He's enjoying family time but wants to support his wife and kids.

"We're definitely eager to get back to work!" said Joshua Witt.

Joshua Witt says only three of his co-workers were not furloughed at his National Guard base.

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