Both Parents of Local Girl Deployed - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/17/05

Both Parents of Local Girl Deployed

Raven Anderson watches a WTOC interview with her mother in Kuwait. Raven Anderson watches a WTOC interview with her mother in Kuwait.

Imagine your mom and dad both serving in the military, and both deployed to Iraq at the same time. That's what's facing one Hinesville girl. The last time Raven Anderson saw her mother was on January 22, but last night we were there as she watched for the first time a WTOC story we did with her mother in Kuwait.

Half a world away, Raven got her first glimpse of her mother, SFC Montoya Jones, since she deployed. "I'm happy to see my momma," she told us.

Raven hasn't seen her mother since she left for Iraq. Her father, SSgt. Keith Jones, deployed a week later. "It's been hard because I don't get to see them every day anymore," Raven said.

Still, they talk several times a week on the phone. "Probably three times a week, like at 6:30 in the morning they call. They ask about what I do. What I'm going to wear to school."

While they're gone, Raven is staying with her legal guardian, SSgt. Candice Shaw. "It's been great so far," said Raven. "She really looks after me and supports me."

Shaw encourages Raven to check her email for notes from Mom and Dad and send cards and photos. Still, she says sometimes Raven gets down. "She'll have her dull moments, but to make sure she doesn't concentrate on it too much, we'll run out and do things together."

But yesterday was a good day. "She lives every morning to hear her mom's voice, so to see her on videotape was really a great thing," said Shaw.

Raven will stay with Shaw through the end of the school year. She'll spend the summer with her grandparents in Kansas.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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