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Soldier mom refuses deployment to care for baby

Posted by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 7:17 PM
  • 36 Replies


Soldier mom refuses deployment to care for baby

SAVANNAH, Ga. - An Army cook and single mom may face criminal charges after she skipped her deployment flight to Afghanistan because, she said, no one was available to care for her infant son while she was overseas.

Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, 21, claims she had no choice but to refuse deployment orders because the only family she had to care for her 10-month-old son - her mother - was overwhelmed by the task, already caring for three other relatives with health problems.

Her civilian attorney, Rai Sue Sussman, said Monday that one of Hutchinson's superiors told her she would have to deploy anyway and place the child in foster care.

"For her it was like, 'I couldn't abandon my child,'" Sussman said. "She was really afraid of what would happen, that if she showed up they would send her to Afghanistan anyway and put her son with child protective services."

Hutchinson, who is from Oakland, Calif., remained confined Monday to the boundaries of Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, 10 days after military police arrested her for skipping her unit's flight. No charges have been filed, but a spokesman for the Army post said commanders were investigating.

Kevin Larson, a spokesman for Hunter Army Airfield, said he didn't know what Hutchinson was told by her commanders, but he said the Army would not deploy a single parent who had nobody to care for his or her child.

"I don't know what transpired and the investigation will get to the bottom of it," Larson said. "If she would have come to the deployment terminal with her child, there's no question she would not have been deployed."

Hutchinson's son, Kamani, was placed into custody of local child welfare officials for "less than two days" when she was arrested and jailed briefly, Larson said. Hutchinson's mother picked up the child a week ago and took him back to her home in California.

Hutchinson, who's assigned to the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, joined the Army in 2007 and had no previous deployments, Sussman said. She said Hutchinson is no longer in a relationship with the father.

The Army requires all single-parent soldiers to submit a care plan for dependent children before they can deploy to a combat zone.

Hutchinson had such a plan - her mother, Angelique Hughes, had agreed to care for the boy. Hughes said Monday she kept the boy for about two weeks in October before deciding she couldn't keep him for a full year.

Hughes said she's already having to care for her ailing mother and sister, as well as a daughter with special needs. She also runs a daycare center at her home, keeping about 14 children during the day.

"This is an infant, and they require 24-hour care," Hughes said. "It was very, very stressful, just too much for me to deal with."

Hughes said she returned Kamani to his mother in Georgia a few days before her scheduled deployment Nov. 5.

She said they told her daughter's commanders they needed more time to find another family member or close friend to help Hughes care for the boy, but Hutchinson was ordered to deploy on schedule.

Larson, the Army post spokesman, said officials planned to keep Hutchinson in Georgia as investigators gathered facts about the case.

"Spc. Hutchinson's deployment is halted," Larson said. "There will be no deployment while this situation is ongoing."

___

Russ Bynum has covered the military based in Georgia since 2001.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 7:17 PM
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Replies (1-10):
fnpdocgrrl
by Boudica on Nov. 16, 2009 at 7:53 PM

Fucking hate war.

This case illustrates one of the many reasons why.

I hope this woman wins her case, she certainly deserves to.

tericared
by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 10:15 PM

Wrong on so many levels.....What is she supposed to do take her kid with her.....The military needs to get a grip and start treating people like people instead of bodies to be offered on the battle field... 

Grannygoli
by Gold Member on Nov. 16, 2009 at 10:38 PM

Thanks for posting.

Thank god she stayed with her child.  This is a soldier with conscience, one i respect!!!!

I have a feeling she will win her case now that it is out in the open as we know the first response she got was foster care for the child.

Wow what a messed up situation.  This is the microcosm of war. Send the young people to other countries to ruin people's lives and the lives of the children they leave behind.  Injustice!!!!!!!!!

War is evil and must be made illegal.

freedomthinks
by on Nov. 17, 2009 at 12:29 AM

But  why  join     Did she  not think this could happen   ?  Why choose this  career ?

Men have to go  when they  chose   millitary life     I guess I am missing somthing

I got  called out not to long ago for voicing the  opinion that    women should not serve  , and this is why 

Don't assume you know my postition on war either    the fact is there  will probably always be   war and soldiers

Why does Betsy get out for having kids if Ben does not ?      

 

I would totaly feel different under a draft  or a government that  forced service   but that  is not the case here is it ?

Wonder how a millitary  wife would feel about this ? 

dizzylizzy1120
by on Nov. 17, 2009 at 12:29 AM

I totally feel for her. Leaving your child for such a long time has got to be extremely difficult. However she did know when she got pregnant she would deploy eventually and should have  come up with an alternative plan if her mother wouldnt be availiable. I know Ill get a lot of crap for it but its true.

Bennett121
by Bronze Member on Nov. 17, 2009 at 12:33 AM


Quoting freedomthinks:

Why does Betsy get out for having kids if Ben does not ?      

 

If "Ben" is a single parent I would assume he would be given the same pass as a single mother would.


 

tashntim
by on Nov. 17, 2009 at 12:42 AM

While I think it's a messed up situation...her mom runs a daycare taking care of 14 other people's children, but can't take care of her own grandchild while her daughter does what she signed up for? Something just doesn't seem right about it.

rileygirl
by on Nov. 17, 2009 at 12:52 AM

This issue was posted earlier today in this group, and here was my response:

 

"Whatever the case may be..If she was lying or whatever, she should have not even been scheduled to leave. If you do not have a current FCP, or it becomes invalid, you are NON-DEPLOYABLE immediately..even if it is 72 hours before your plane leaves. It doesn't matter what the time frame is. Yeah, she is effing stupid for not showing up. She can geta Court Martial for missing movement. But at the same time, her COC is at fault, and honestly, I think she did what any mother would do by not showing up. Was she supposed to show up with the baby? Or just leave the child with some random person or a babysitter?..I think her COC is more at fault than anything. JMO, and I served 4 years, 2 of them a single mom with no Family Care Plan..well wait..i had a "pretend" one. So my NCO wouldn't get her ass chewed..how is that for leadership?"

A Man  in the Military would also have the same rights.. Its not because she is female. It is because she is a single parent. The same goes for Dual Military Parents.As of 11 Oct 09, I discharged out of the Military because i lacked the Family Care Plan. Because  DH is deploying this month, and I would be deploying in March 2010. My time would have been fullfilled, but i was a guarentee stop-loss..yes that still exsists, but they call it an "extension" now.

rileygirl
by on Nov. 17, 2009 at 12:59 AM

Regardless if her mother takes care of 14 other kids, this Soldier did not have the PROPER PAPERWORK that is REQUIRED by MILITARY LAW. It was INVALID. Nonetheless, make her NON-DEPLOYABLE IMMEDIATLY!

Quoting tashntim:

While I think it's a messed up situation...her mom runs a daycare taking care of 14 other people's children, but can't take care of her own grandchild while her daughter does what she signed up for? Something just doesn't seem right about it.


hsteele
by on Nov. 17, 2009 at 1:16 AM

This is sad and a tough case. I want to say that she made the decision to enlist and to have a baby while enlisted and knew that there was a possibility, in fact a high possibility that she would be deployed. But I also think that there should be provisions made to protect families in this situation. Do they expect her to place her child in an inadequate environment? I think it is insensitive of her commander to not address the problem this woman was going through. I feel for her.

Heather
The Witchy Momma

Rise up this morning, smile at the rising sun; Three little birds, pitch by my doorstep; Singing sweet songs, a melody pure and true; Singing, this is my message to you-ou-ou; Singing Don't worry, about a thing; Cause every little thing is gonna be alright.

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