Army Mom Refuses Deployment

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by oh_gal, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. oh_gal

    oh_gal New Member

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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.


    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ap_on_re_us/us_soldier_mom_deployment

    In the article, it states that this young woman's mom is caring for her mother, sister, and a disabled daughter AND running a daycare with 14 children during the day. Probably forthe best that grandma couldn't/wouldn't care for the child, he'd have probably been neglected, anyway, due to the sheer volume of other children/people needing care at that house.

    So, this young lady states she has no other family to take care of her child. Hard to believe, but ok, let's say that's true. Get a friend. At one time, she had at least one "friend," because she didn't get pregnant alone.

    I really have a hard time with what I see as a person who signed up for the military to draw a steady paycheck and get all the other "perks" (medical insurance, housing, etc.) and now that she might have to face some real danger, wants to stay home. Her plans may have fallen through with her mom, but I find it really really hard to believe that she has absolutely no one who can step up to care for this child. If that is, indeed the case, then perhaps she shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place, knowing she was enlisted in the military, and deployment was a very real possibility.

    I have a niece who is a captain in the Army, who often jokes about having a "furlough baby," so she won't have to be deployed again (at least for a while). Apparently, it happens. (Incidentially, my niece is on her 3rd tour over in Iraq.)

    This mother would get a lot more sympathy from me if her attitude was, "just give me a month to find other arrangements, then I'll deploy."
     
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  3. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    I have such mixed feelings about this.

    While ITA that these moms should have thought about this for the 9 months they were pregnant and since the baby was born - IOW, it shouldn't be a shock that there is no babysitter the day your flight is supposed to leave! - I also worry about some rule being made that will separate mothers who truly do have a change of circumstances.

    Playing Devil's Advocate, what if she truly thought her mother could/would care for her baby. Obviously the mother cares for other children, and there are at least 14 parents who find her qualified. But then she goes to visit and maybe bring some things over for him, and witnesses chaos or worse which makes her fear for his safety while she is gone.

    She asks the army for more time, and they tell her to drop off the kid and get her ass on the plane.

    What would you do?

    Not saying that this is what I think happened, but it is definitely a complication of so many women in today's military. Not every pregnancy is planned, and yet some ARE planned to avoid deployment. I really feel for the people who have to make the decisions about who goes and who stays. It must be a nightmare.
     
  4. EmMomma

    EmMomma Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult

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    There were plenty of "patriotic pregnancies" when my wasband was deployed to Iraq. :bang:
    According to Army policy, one MUST have a family care plan in place in order to stay in the military.
    Deployments are part of being in the military, and anyone who has enlisted since 9/11 is well aware that they WILL BE deployed. It's not a "MAY BE" anymore.
    I have a very hard time having sympathy for this woman. Her son is 10 months old. I wonder how long her mother has been caring for the other family members? Surely this situation didn't arise all of a sudden...bottom line is this woman neglected her DUTY as a soldier, period. It sucks, but when you're in the Army, the Army comes first. That's how it has to be in order for our country to maintain our top-notch military. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she thought she'd be able to work something out, but...
    Now she will likely receive a dishonorable discharge, which will be a black mark on her record forever. Finding a job will be difficult. I have to wonder WTH she was thinking...
     
  5. EmMomma

    EmMomma Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult

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    ETA: I've contemplated going into the military several times in my adult life. The TWO REASONS I never have are my DD's. Just sayin'...

    Oops. I didn't mean to quote myself. :)
     
  6. oh_gal

    oh_gal New Member

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    (respectfully snipped by me)
    ITA...my niece would LOVE to have children, but as you stated above, right now in her life, the Army comes first. She knew that when she re-upped. At times, it's hard on her because she's in her early 30s and she wonders if she'll ever have kids, but she knew that that would be the case when she re-enlisted.
     
  7. Carla Lashelle

    Carla Lashelle New Member

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    You sign up, you do the time... if you don't want to go they should throw the book at you...

    With a VOLUNTEER army you can't say you didnt know what you were signing up for.
     
  8. STEADFAST

    STEADFAST New Member

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    I don't find it credible that she'd suddenly realize her mom couldn't take care of her child just before she deployed. A single-parent soldier who's liable to be deployed is required to have a child-care plan in place. Either she wasn't honest in her plan or she isn't being honest now. She knew about her mom's other commitments. This situation is of her own making, and she's going to have to take the consequences.
     
  9. sleuthin4fun

    sleuthin4fun Member

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    I can not believe for one second that she put fourth exhaustive effort to find proper care for her child while she fullfilled her obligation. My initial response was "she didn't ask me, we would have kept him." I would imagine there are thousands of others out there who would be willing to step in and help our service men and women.
     
  10. oh_gal

    oh_gal New Member

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    I'll go one step further....jail time, as well as having to pay back everything you've been given. With interest.
     
  11. STEADFAST

    STEADFAST New Member

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    I hope the Army doesn't jail her, for the child's sake only.

    One thing that just occurred to me is to wonder why the grandmother would put caring for "relatives" over caring for her granddaughter. Seems the relatives should be the ones told that it's too overwhelming to care for them while she's responsible for her granddaughter.
     
  12. WhyaDuck?

    WhyaDuck? Inactive

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    Shouldn't she still be on maternity leave, anyway, if the child is only 10 months old? (Or is the standard one year leave a Canadian thing that Americans don't do?)
     
  13. Lyn1001

    Lyn1001 In constant need of a nap

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    One year??!!! Holy Cow!!! 6 weeks for vaginal birth, 8 for C-Section. And, at least every place I've worked in my state, it's unpaid. Unless you use your vacation/sick leave. At my current job, I can also use a Medical Leave of Absence with partial pay. If I want to take any more time that "what is given", it would be unpaid.
     
  14. oh_gal

    oh_gal New Member

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    I believe if they are Active Duty, they can be deployed after 4 months, but don't quote me on that.
     
  15. WhyaDuck?

    WhyaDuck? Inactive

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    Here, you get half your pay for a year. I didn't, because I am a student and a seasonal worker, but if you work for 50 weeks, full time, prior to the birth/leave starting, you get half your pay for one year's mat leave.

    Sorry for going off topic - the story just confused me because of that. Cultural differences, I guess.
     
  16. oh_gal

    oh_gal New Member

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    You are much sweeter than I am.
    OK...jail time only if there was intent to defraud the gov't by not carrying out her end of the bargain.
     
  17. STEADFAST

    STEADFAST New Member

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    Maternity leave varies from company to company in the U.S. I guarantee the Army doesn't give women a year's leave to have a baby! I believe it's a couple of months. Also, keep in mind, soldiers have the option of getting out if they become pregnant, an option she apparently decided not to take. Guess this woman wanted it both ways -- free medical, big increase in pay for having a dependent, better housing for having a dependent but also didn't expect to have to fulfill her obligations once she had her dependent.
     
  18. STEADFAST

    STEADFAST New Member

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    Remind me not to own a company in Canada!:angel:

    Canada's military leave policies are very generous, too. A woman gets 17 weeks during pregnancy. A woman or man gets up to 37 weeks after the birth (or adoption), at 93% pay. If both parents are in the military they can't both take parental leave and also both get pay.
    Unlike in the U.S., though, looks like women are required to complete their enlistment contract eventually, even if they become pregnant.
    They are also assigned to combat duty equally with men, while we inexplicably have restrictions on the kinds of combat duties women can be assigned to.
    http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=...&gl=us&sig=AFQjCNGssVzTj2daQ7_846YVRVY3Lv86Hw
     
  19. Salem

    Salem Former Member

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    I support this young lady 100%. I don't know how she got pregnant or why - I don't care. It is all water under the bridge now and doesn't matter. This young woman can do all kinds of military work right here at home and look after the well-being of her child at the same time. She doesn't need to go overseas.

    One of the hardest things for any parent to do, is leave their children for an extended period of time and it is IMPOSSIBLE if you do not have a safe and loving environment to place the child in while you are gone.

    I send her lots of support and hope that she is not punished. She is doing the RIGHT thing by standing by her child - in my mind, there is no question about that.

    Salem
     
  20. Salem

    Salem Former Member

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    What is the grandmother supposed to do? Turn her back on her mother and her daughter? Wow.

    Life happens. We have to deal with it and we don't always get to make the choices or be in control. She can work here in the states. Not everyone has to go overseas. I know in some ways that seems unfair but damn.... I feel so badly for all those parents that have been deployed and their children. The kids miss their parents and some of them probably need their parents more than we will know.

    This young woman is choosing to stand by her child - I just can not see that as a bad thing. If she is a single mom and the military is her only source of support, then if I was her, I wouldn't quit my job either.

    Salem
     
  21. STEADFAST

    STEADFAST New Member

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    What she's doing wrong is not that she's standing by her child. Even the military wouldn't deploy her with no child care in place. What she did wrong was not take the responsibility to either leave the military when she got pregnant or make adequate child care arrangements. She was willing to take all the perks having a family gets you in the military but not the duties.
     

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