Soldier mom refuses deployment to care for baby

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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 overnight with a daycare provider on the Army post after 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."

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justus4
113
Points
justus4 11/17/09 - 05:24 am
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0
As someone with extensive
Unpublished

As someone with extensive knowledge of military deploments, this is a BIG story and can be realted to the Hood shootings. In short, Spc Hutchington's chain of command failed her. Maj Husan's chain of command failed him too. In both cases, it will be proven that the servicemembers expressed reservations about deploying to war, but their leaders believed that the interest of the Army was more important. (that's why it hard being a good/effective leader) A good leader can distinguish between a soldier with real difficulties and those that are good soldiers, but just putting up a front. What kinda foolish leader ask a female soldier to leave her child in fostercare? (there also something else at work here too - U guesed it) And Maj Hasan had a lawyer fighting to get him out of his commission, but in both cases, some army leader felt that the army's goals were more important - and now they gotta answer for those decisions. The major could have left active duty, paid his remaining edu debts, went on living. Someone didn't want that, and Hutchington will be released from duty on a hardship. These are difficult issues the army must address promply and this story may help in that effort.

xanadu
0
Points
xanadu 11/17/09 - 06:11 am
0
0
she knew what the deal was

she knew what the deal was when she signed the papers to go in the service. no one at the supply store issued her a child. there's birth control, she should have used it if she wanted a career in the service and doesn't have support for her bebby. oh, by the way, where's her baby dadda in all this? says she is 'no longer in a relationship' with him, but he can still be held accountable for spewing his seed indiscriminately. i say throw her out of the service, no more guaranteed paycheck every month and forget the bennies. go work in mcdonald's, chickie, and grab your share of the dole.

Doyougetitnow
4
Points
Doyougetitnow 11/17/09 - 06:37 am
0
0
I can see lots of issues

I can see lots of issues here. I understand that she had no-one she trusted or could rely on to care for her baby, but she might have addressed this before time to leave (and we don't know all the story, perhaps she did). Sometimes our judgement is even harsher than God's own. That's sad, but we do it everyday and I'm pretty sure people make judgements towards me and you...all of us. Wish I had room for one more to take in, but right now my house is full and my pocketbook is empty. Can't help but wonder what would've happened if she showed up at the airport w/ her baby and said...now do you still want me to go? I've cared for many people (adults and children) over the years and have been judged pretty hard for it by some people, but I know why I do it. Ultimately it's between me and God and that's how it should be with everyone's issues in life.

andywarhol
0
Points
andywarhol 11/17/09 - 07:32 am
0
0
She should have been kicked

She should have been kicked out before the deployment, but she had a valid family care plan. Just skipping out on deployment is BS! Throw the book at her then kick her out. This is why we continue to have these problems, because everyone feels sorry for the single mom.

xanadu
0
Points
xanadu 11/17/09 - 07:36 am
0
0
most overused expression

most overused expression today: "....but i'm a single mother...." get out the barf bag.

bettyboop
8
Points
bettyboop 11/17/09 - 07:49 am
0
0
Why is these women think in

Why is these women think in times of war they can join the Army ...get educated and fed and dressed and then when the time comes they just say no..? Sorry little girl but it's time to take your daddy'less kid and go home........Husan was a terrorist plain and simple.....he should be shot in his American Hospital bed.

noway
201
Points
noway 11/17/09 - 08:32 am
0
0
And the Army claims it cares

And the Army claims it cares for it's people and their families? There are several other soldiers they could send...ridiculous.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 11/17/09 - 08:40 am
0
0
Women in the active military,

Women in the active military, beyond support, are going to continue to be a problem because of reproductive issues. SURPRISE. This issue, and all others relating to the problems of reproduction and related female functions, should have been addressed in detail years ago. Political correctness is a difficult hill to climb.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 11/17/09 - 09:53 am
0
0
Single parents who sign up

Single parents who sign up also sign statements that they have adequate and appropriate child care for their minor children if they are deployed elsewhere. I think the grandmother should have been more honest with her daughter from the beginning; you don't need a trial period to know that caring for a small infant is "time consuming" and adds to the daily "workload," especially when that potential care-giver is caring for medically challenged adults while operating a day care unit of 14 children. When the young mother contacted her superiors she was experiencing difficulty in finding a relative to care for the infant, she should have been granted additional time to secure that care. And j4, what the blazes does this incident have to do with the murders at Ft Hood by the terrorist you defend?

corgimom
38713
Points
corgimom 11/17/09 - 10:33 am
0
0
If you have a child and you

If you have a child and you are in the military, you must file documents stating that you have someone to care for your child in a deployment. Fathers have to deploy, why not mothers? Why can't the father take care of the baby? She knew the deal when she went into the Army. There are lots of people that deploy with children. Women either can do the job just as a man can, or they can't. She should've gotten out when she had the baby. She wants her cake and eat it too.

corgimom
38713
Points
corgimom 11/17/09 - 10:35 am
0
0
If it had been a white woman

If it had been a white woman refusing to deploy, Justnuts would have been screaming how she was getting special treatment because she is white.

anotherday
46
Points
anotherday 11/17/09 - 12:10 pm
0
0
Justus4- I knew that truck

Justus4- I knew that truck with the plate with Justus on it must belong to you I saw on post- now I know! No one failed her but herself, she and her mother cooked this plan up to keep her from deploying. Her mother is a daycare operator for Godsakes. She brings shame to all single unwed mothers in the military that cause problems for unit co-hesion, deployments that others must pick the slack up on, and all round drain financially. Before I get slammed for my view, I am a female veteran of many years that waited to have my children till we had a care plan or I got out. I have also been to war.

anotherday
46
Points
anotherday 11/17/09 - 12:11 pm
0
0
BTW, let her stay in jail,

BTW, let her stay in jail, her mother now has the baby- she DID come and pick him up. Amazing ,huh? She did take an oath.

KingJames
11
Points
KingJames 11/17/09 - 02:15 pm
0
0
We all know that she should

We all know that she should have had a family care plan. Well, she had a plan that didn't work. The military requires a plan, but it seems like it should have required a "Plan B" in this situation. The bad part is that because some commander would not try to take care of his soldier by leaving her behind and processing her out of the military if she couldn't find a caregivier for her son, the army now has to deal with another unnecessary public relations issue. It's not the army's fault she had a baby, but the commander should have known his response was wrong. If she was undeployable, then the commander's response should have not been to make the baby a ward of the state. It's a proven fact that members of the military don't function well if they are worried about loved ones. The commander obviously didn't think the soldier would worry about her child. And we know had Hutchinson allowed her baby to be placed in foster care she would probably have never gotten her son back from the state.

smartie
0
Points
smartie 11/17/09 - 02:18 pm
0
0
yeah, this is why president

yeah, this is why president reagan purged the military of such losers. i see the democrats are back to taking any loser off the street. i guess thjey figure they'll pay her one way or another. maybe, instead of deploying her, she could stay here and scrub all the toilets at her base.

andywarhol
0
Points
andywarhol 11/17/09 - 03:14 pm
0
0
Sure noway, punish the

Sure noway, punish the Soldiers that take care of their personal matters and make special exceptions for the singler mother. Her job is to fight for this country. It's what she's paid to do! If we make and exception for her, do you realize how many more will suddenly have child care issues?

Doyougetitnow
4
Points
Doyougetitnow 11/17/09 - 05:25 pm
0
0
I did my NEO packet the day

I did my NEO packet the day after my son was born & we weren't in any "involvements" at the time. Fortunately, I never needed it (my [now ex]wife left active for the Reserves; then her unit was hit by a scud in DS). But it was ironclad. It would work. Apparently after a "test drive" her mother couldn't cope, even with 14 other "daycare children" (where did that come from?). Make it thirteen & deal with it. This sounds suspiciously like "I don't want to deploy. I was only here for the check. I didn't expect to be put in combat." Combat, hell; she's a friggin 94B cook. Where's the nearest Mess Hall to the actual fighting? I realize there's no clear cut "front line" in Afghanistan, but let's be serious. Cooks & clerks are pretty safe, safer than most, anyway. Except maybe the Navy... couldn't resist, lol. I know there's Navy on the ground there.

anotherday
46
Points
anotherday 11/17/09 - 05:39 pm
0
0
putting a child in protective

putting a child in protective care in the military is very different than civilian sector- it is not true "foster care". It is usauly by persons trained to watch children in all kind of temporary situations, most times by other military families.

corgimom
38713
Points
corgimom 11/17/09 - 05:44 pm
0
0
KingJames- when you join the

KingJames- when you join the military, you know you are subject to deployment at any time. What you don't understand is that it is understood from the start that you will have unaccompanied tours. She could've gotten out when she had the baby. I bet if she got an unaccompanied PCS to a non-war zone, she'd go.

KingJames
11
Points
KingJames 11/17/09 - 05:53 pm
0
0
Anotherday, that explanation

Anotherday, that explanation about the military's definition of "foster care" probably wasn't explained to Hutchinson. I don't know for sure, though. What I do know is that I had to take a lot of time to explain things that came from officers and senior enlisted to my junior enlisted personnel. That was part of my job. This is still bad for Hutchinson and the army. The only sure thing is that she will be discharged because she is nondeployable. A lot of people are making it sound as if she planned it this way. We don't know that for sure. I do know I've seen female sailors agonize over who was going to take care of their kids so they could deploy. I can only think of one who was discharged for this reason, and she was upset about it because she loved being in the Navy and wanted to deploy. Doyougetitnow, you are correct, there are lots of Navy on teh ground over there. Lol.

LCC0256
634
Points
LCC0256 11/17/09 - 09:29 pm
0
0
Another bottom line.... it is

Another bottom line.... it is NOT natural, it is foolish, & it is counter productive to a society IN THE LONG run to have females in combat positions in the military. There are so many excellent common sense reasons for not having women in direct harms way in the military. Utilize them in leadership positions where their considerable intellectual skills along with their ability to understand human behavior can keep our military strong but putting them on subs and ships & on the battlefield is STUPID no way around that fact - it is stupid... But alas this is a country where socialism is being chosen over our democratic republic where military enemies who have slaughtered 3000 people are going to be allowed the use of the civil liberties union (with full CITIZENS RIGHTS) with its hatred of America & where the current office holder of the President has done EVERYTHING imaginable to show his disdain & utter disrespect of this country...i know therefore this truthful statement will never resonate with those in power now... all great empires have fallen so this one too most likely SOON is headed to the ash heap of history foiled & spoiled by enemies from within....

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