Soldier mom refuses deployment to care for baby




By RUSS BYNUM, AP Military Writer Russ Bynum, Ap Military Writer – 7 mins ago
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."

___

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

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_...bGsDc29sZGllcm1vbXJl

Original Post
Single parents and deployment issues is usually an open and shut case, but something does not seem right about this one. 19

I'll wait for the rest of the story.
ocatchings, I agree.

This issue, "single parents and deployment issues" is usually an open and shut case for the military (and any other soldier personal issues) with no exceptions.

IMO, with the current political climate and pubic overall resentment, especially after Bush/Chaney, with 8+ years of fighting the unnecessary and illegial Iraq War and Americans the wanting of end of the "totally disregarded" for 8+ years war in Afghanstan by Bush/Chaney and the Obama administration trying to decide what to do going forward and having, despite the "overall mission" of finding Bin Laden/destroying the Taliban has the same end results for our soldiers: killed/wounded/PTSD/ broken families and the constat problems of soldiers having everyday life issues like this one having to once again sacrifice for wars that no one really believes in has made the American public and our soldiers just plain ole' frusterated and tired with soldier "in the war zone in harm's way" rotation after rotation after rotation with no end in sight for this Afghanstan war.

For the last 8+ years, soldiers have been (if they don't get killed or severely wounded) at home, at war, at home, at war, etc and despite everyday life issues like this one, soldiers are extremely overworked, tired & stressed, the American people are tired and these everyday family issues like this one regarding deployment "despite the circumstances" have and are really getting old.

The "no exceptions, open and shut" justification just doesn't cut it anymore and the recent Fort Hood killings brought it home for everybody; just how hard it is for soldiers/marines with little or no adjustments.

The difference between past American involved wars and the Iraq/Afghanstan War?

The majority of past wars (Civil War, WWI/WWII, Korea/Vietnam were fought between different nations and ended in a politically signed peace treaty between those warring nations.

This war on terorism has no peace treaty; no such thing and it probably doesn't have an "ending."
------------------------------------------------
Quote: "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".
------------------------------------------------

Via the rules, she submitted a health plan. Her situation completely changed and she is currently being upheld but she will be deployed and if she makes it back and is not killed/severely wounded or has severe PTSD that renders her unfit to take care of her child upon her return, then what? Child Protection Services after the fact?

The U.S. government and the military need to revise their policies because has no clue when these wars will end and today's soldiers are really enslaved; they are not getting of the hook.

Soldiers signed up and committed themselves to the mlitary to defend this country but the U.S. government and the military cannot keep going like this. They have got to change.

Outside of the war zone, they are mentally killing their own troops before they get to the war zone.

Hundreds of soldiers are not just killed/severely wounded directly by the enemy but many are killed by not paying strict attention; worried about what issues they left at home, causing inattention, therefore causing mistakes.

President Obama said that "he will not send soldiers into harm"s way unnecessarily and without a well thoughout plan for success".

But what about successfully taking care of soldiers before and after the fact? fro
From my own personal experience, this is what the military requires from their single parents. It is mandatory that you have a child care package. You must provide a long term care provider with arrangements for financial responsibility for your child/ren, ie allotments for that time you are away. You must also provide a short term care provider for short notice deployments or TDYs, also with a financial plan. Each individual must sign paperwork agreeing to responsibilty for your child along with power of attorney's for their care. At least that's the way the Air Force required it to be done.
So from my perspective, all of her bases should've been covered, if possible. I don't know her relationship with her child's father, but from the article it doesn't sound too good, but if he's in the Army he should definitely be on the hook for 1. child support and 2. as secondary care provider for this child. She should've made arrangements with some of her single parent girlfriends like I did to at least provide short term care. These are the type of things to consider when you become a single parent in the military. Not easy, but necessary.
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
From my own personal experience, this is what the military requires from their single parents. It is mandatory that you have a child care package. You must provide a long term care provider with arrangements for financial responsibility for your child/ren, ie allotments for that time you are away. You must also provide a short term care provider for short notice deployments or TDYs, also with a financial plan. Each individual must sign paperwork agreeing to responsibilty for your child along with power of attorney's for their care. At least that's the way the Air Force required it to be done.
So from my perspective, all of her bases should've been covered, if possible. I don't know her relationship with her child's father, but from the article it doesn't sound too good, but if he's in the Army he should definitely be on the hook for 1. child support and 2. as secondary care provider for this child. She should've made arrangements with some of her single parent girlfriends like I did to at least provide short term care. These are the type of things to consider when you become a single parent in the military. Not easy, but necessary.


"Dual military" as well.

You and Cholly have it right, that's why it seems something is missing.
Was the commander playing the numbers game to OR rate up?
Was she playing a game to keep from deploying?
So many questions
Yemaya, I agree, as a single parent in the military, per military regulations, she has to have a child care package and yes, there are a lot of unanswered questions about her entire situation (husband/boyfriend probably a deadbeat or maybe she is trying to avoid going) and by hook or crook, bascially on her own, she will have to make those arrangements with somebody to care for her child (i.e., power of atttorney) because in the end, she will be deployed to the war zone and serve a full tour of duty but my main gripe is the unknown.

The ill-advised, not-knowing, inattention and indecision of the higher levels of gov't and the upper brass military since these wars began to provide the optimal support, funding and truly enforce soldier care and family support groups while at home/army garrison so this type of thing (and many others) does not become what it is; a consistant repetitive problem every single day.

Especially when there is no clue as to the end game to this war (and these two wars) on terror and it's constant (4, 5 times etc) soldier war zone rotations.

And you know that if she does not comply, get her act together and not deploy, she will face military charges, get a lawyer and fight being discharged dishonorably and/or face jail time.

Military has got to re-examine and get a better handle on this.

To be optimal and effective, a soldier needs the calming effect and know that while in the war zone dodging bullets/IED's, that his/her personal issues at home (can't possibly handle all of life's situations) are being handled/ well taken care of and not be the normal extreme added burden/stress that it has become while soldiers are trying to keep a relationship with their ass everyday.

When Operation Desert Storm ended and soldiers returned home (Reserve & National Guard) and to their Army installations (Active Duty) around the world, all hell broke loose: divorce, bankrupcy, alcoholism, drug use, theft, domestic abuse, infidelity, pregancies through the roof, attempted/suicides etc etc and according to the military, the family support and assistance program was supposed to be in place!

Some of this stuff you can't prevent but it was a dismal failure and i'll bet you that the system has improved very little or not gotten any better.

And the upper brass military expects soldiers and marines to function (despite their problems) as if everything is just as everyday normal post-war as it is pre-war.

Single mother child care package? It's covers the basic need, covers all the bases for the military statistically (looks great on a briefing chart) but as far as the military is concerned it's all "hurry up & wait"/"it's really not my problem" and Yemaya, as a former military member, know that shiggity. fro
She has the right to quit her employment if she feels that it impacts negatively on her family life.

That's just part of what it means to be free.
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
She has the right to quit her employment if she feels that it impacts negatively on her family life.

That's just part of what it means to be free.


There is no freedom in the military.

Nor does she have *rights*. Nor is she "employed."


She can only hope to receive some degree of understanding and/or consideration of her circumstances. Neither is required nor guaranteed, though.
Quote by ricardomath: "This should change".
------------------------------------------------
Per CNN interview of Specialist Alexis Hutchinson's civilian attorney, Rai Sue Sussman, stated that she did exactly what she was supposed to do.

She submitted her child care package in a timely manner well before her scheduled deployment and once she found out that her mom could not take care of her daughter, she filed for a 30 day extension well in advance prior to deployment to persue other child care options.

24 hours prior to her getting on the plane with her unit to Afghanstan she was notified by the her superior that her request for the extension of her child care package was denied.

She was left with only 24 hours to make a decision. She decided to not get on the plane.

Upon her refusal, she was immediately reprmanded and arrested by the military, restricted to her barracks, under heavy 24 hour watch and her child sent directly to foster care; child protection services in Georgia.

When her mother was notified by Spec Hutchinson of the situation, she went to child protection services, got her granddaughter and now has her.

The same mother, now being forced who, due to her being overwhelmed by the task, already caring for three other relatives with health problems. The very same reason that Spec Hutchinson filed for the child care extension in the first place.

Why didn't her supervisor (squad leader/ platoon sergeant/platoon leader or company commander) not follow-up? Ask her about the current status of her child care package and help/assist her explore other options? That's their job!!

And I'll bet that that her company commander made the decison (the busk stops with him) to deny her the extension since unit readiness, ie, MTOE (Military Table Of Effectiveness: personnel & equipment) is paramount and any deficiencies is deemed negative.

It's really no different than having pregeant soldiers in your unit. It's a negative: it goes against the unit readiness statistics.

How many other soldiers in the same/similiar or other circumstances have been a victim of this fate?

Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine. This is not right and despite being a military member and the accountabilities/responsibilites that comes along with it, this is not taking care of military members and just imagine the military members who had siniliar problem, got on that plane and are now fighting in the war zone, trying to stay alive with these types of unresolved personal issues.

According to her lawyer, the Army currently has 85,000 single parents.

I agree with ricardomath. It's 2009, not the 70's. The Cold War era is over. The military need to come into the present.

"Just suck it up and move on" does not cut it here.
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by ocatchings:
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
From my own personal experience, this is what the military requires from their single parents. It is mandatory that you have a child care package. You must provide a long term care provider with arrangements for financial responsibility for your child/ren, ie allotments for that time you are away. You must also provide a short term care provider for short notice deployments or TDYs, also with a financial plan. Each individual must sign paperwork agreeing to responsibilty for your child along with power of attorney's for their care. At least that's the way the Air Force required it to be done.
So from my perspective, all of her bases should've been covered, if possible. I don't know her relationship with her child's father, but from the article it doesn't sound too good, but if he's in the Army he should definitely be on the hook for 1. child support and 2. as secondary care provider for this child. She should've made arrangements with some of her single parent girlfriends like I did to at least provide short term care. These are the type of things to consider when you become a single parent in the military. Not easy, but necessary.


"Dual military" as well.

You and Cholly have it right, that's why it seems something is missing.
Was the commander playing the numbers game to OR rate up?
Was she playing a game to keep from deploying?
So many questions


Yeah ... I'm finding things a little "questionable" myself ... Big Grin

Either she's got bad luck or bad game! And it's sounding a whole lot more like the latter to me! Eek

Maybe all the cosmos just converged to make all of her house of cards fall in. Or maybe she just never should have signed her name on that dotted line .... even though it sounded like a good idea at the time. 19

I feel for her, though ... and really hope things work out for her.
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
She has the right to quit her employment if she feels that it impacts negatively on her family life.

That's just part of what it means to be free.


Roll Eyes
Unless she woke up one morning and the baby was sitting on her door step............
She signed a contract and she knew what was expected so pulling a sara palin is not the way to go about this.

Dumbass quote of the day......
quote:
This should change. It's 2009.



Eureka!!!!!! I have found another fine example of one who doesn't believe in accountability.
quote:
Originally posted by ocatchings:

She signed a contract and she knew what was expected so pulling a sara palin is not the way to go about this.


Yeah, I've signed employment contracts, too.

And I've pulled a Sarah Palin after signing the contract, even mid semester once, leaving nearly 200 students in the lurch mid semester.

Neither me nor Sarah are in jail. (Well, I've been in jail many times, but never for refusing to labor.)

I stopped getting my paycheck. I assume that the same thing happened to Sarah.

Because, well...that's what happens in a free society when you quit your job.

They stop paying you.
Last edited {1}
Cholly, thank you for posting an article which exposes the other circumstances of this case. So the commander and the administrative people at the unit failed to do their jobs properly, took her child and put him in foster care and FORCED the soldiers mother to care for the dependent anyway knowing that she could not do it. Unfortunately in this situation, the person who contributed to this situation, the commander will get to maintain their career and will recieve a light punishment in comparison to what Spc. Hutchinson will most likely recieve on the easy end. The commander will most likely recieve a letter of reprimand at the MOST while at the least SPC Hutchinson would get a general discharge with some other nasty comments attached to her file. That's how the military gets down. She is in for a hell of a fight about this. Ridiculous.
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by ocatchings:

She signed a contract and she knew what was expected so pulling a sara palin is not the way to go about this.


Yeah, I've signed employment contracts, too.

ek ek ek

Is he serious?? Confused
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by ocatchings:

She signed a contract and she knew what was expected so pulling a sara palin is not the way to go about this.


Yeah, I've signed employment contracts, too.

ek ek ek

Is he serious?? Confused


Unfortunately yes.
But ignore him before he tries to justify and excuse those dopes in that Shaniya Davis case (and other losers); afterall its a free country.
quote:
Originally posted by ocatchings:
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by ocatchings:

She signed a contract and she knew what was expected so pulling a sara palin is not the way to go about this.


Yeah, I've signed employment contracts, too.

ek ek ek

Is he serious?? Confused


Unfortunately yes.


Well, that's enough to just scare the bejeezus outta ya, now isn't it?? ek

quote:
But ignore him before he tries to justify and excuse those dopes in that Shaniya Davis case (and other losers); afterall its a free country.

Oh no ... he doesn't even have to go that far!

Anybody who would compare the duties and responsibility of being a soldier with being a school teacher ... is enough to make me run like hell and hope what whatever he's got is not digitally transferrable! Big Grin

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