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Army Mom Won't Deploy, Child Taken Away

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An army cook and single mom who refused to deploy to Afghanistan, saying there was no one to care for her 10-month-old son, has been arrested and her son placed in foster care. Now she could face criminal charges.

alexis hutchinson

Military police arrested 21-year-old Spc. Alexis Hutchinson November 6 after she failed to show up to deploy to Afghanistan with her unit. Hutchinson had initially planned to have her 10-month-old son stay with her mother while she was away on the yearlong deployment. Now her mother says she is unable to care for the infant because she is caring for three other relatives with illnesses. The army initially gave her an extension to find someone to take care of her baby after her mother said she could not, but then reneged, saying she would have to deploy immediately. When she did not show up for her flight to Afghanistan, she was arrested and her son was placed in foster care.  

Hutchinson's attorney, Rai Sue Sussman, says Hutchinson does not have any family or friends who can care for the infant, and needs more time to find suitable child care. She also claims the army is forcing her to "make an inhumane choice. She did not have a complete family care plan, meaning she did not find someone to provide long-term care for her child. She's required to have a complete family care plan, and was told she'd have an extension, but then they changed it on her." As to why she believes the military revoked the extension, Sussman says, "I think they didn't believe her that she was unable to find someone to care for her infant. They think she's just trying to get out of her deployment. But she's just trying to find someone she can trust to take care of her baby."

Hutchinson reportedly told her lawyer, "It is outrageous that they would deploy a single mother without a complete and current family care plan. I would like to find someone I trust who can take care of my son, but I cannot force my family to do this. They are dealing with their own health issues." She says one of the commanders in her unit didn't believe this was a family crisis, and that her mother should have been able to take care of the child.

A spokesman for Hunter Army Airfield where Hutchinson is based says no charges have been filed yet, although she is confined to the post until the investigation is complete. Her son is now out of the state's care and in California with his grandmother.


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25 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous November 16, 2009, 1:33 PM

This is going to come off as callous, but a person (male or female) CAN NOT be in the military if there is no family care plan. So the only thing I have trouble with is…this woman cashing the checks she gets from uncle Sam THEN all of a sudden she has nowhere to take her kids? This is her responsibility, and it is a little fishy to me that all of a sudden she’s got nobody. GET out of the military chick, cause you got nobody to watch your kid. That is the law…get out of military free card. She should have played it.

Kristen November 16, 2009, 1:53 PM

My husband is in the military and I have to say I agree with the previous poster. You have to have a family care plan IN PLACE…..this women was pregnant for 9months and now the baby is 10months old, she needs to have had someone by now. I feel bad that her mom is having health issues and couldn’t take the baby BUT she should have had an alternate.

Sara November 16, 2009, 2:24 PM

Her kid isn’t in foster care, he’s living with his grandmother. Sounds like she did have someone to watch her child after all.

No one else should have to go because she can’t figure out how to find care for her kid.

mercaties@msn.com November 16, 2009, 5:42 PM

I agree with the other posts. The military is not for everyone a single mother with no child care should not be in the military. She has no problem collecting money from the military but now that they want her to deploy she doesn’t have child care. Serving our country is the most noble thing any of us can do but it is not for everyone and she is one of those people.

Brian November 16, 2009, 5:45 PM

I don’t even think communist Countries arrest and take a ways a mother’s child from her simply because she is putting her child before the desire of the military, which is what any parent, especially a mother would naturally be incline to do. America is obsessed with arresting people, even for things that is not an arrestable offense.

anonymous November 16, 2009, 11:02 PM

I am dealing with a similar situation. We have been forced into a family care plan where a relative with severe medical issues is the most stable person to care for our children. The chain of command just can’t seem to grasp that anything other than a birth or a death can still be a crisis and that not everyone wants to step up to care for someone else’s kids.
It may be the military here, but people are still people, and no matter what rank they wear, your boss is still your boss. What matters right now is that the child is not in foster care and they are not forcing her to place him in foster care. They are trying to come up with a solution, even if the situation has been handled poorly up until now.

Anonymous November 17, 2009, 3:48 AM

She is dodging her first deployment, plain and simple. I am not from a military family, but I am a boss at my place of employment, and it is easy to recognize lazy, worthless people. She not only got knocked up and couldn’t make it work w/ the father, but now her mother, who runs a daycare w/ 12 kids out of her home during the week, can’t take care of one more child. This is ridiculous. Another person looking for a free handout and, when time comes to pay for it, makes excuses why they can’t.

Concerned November 17, 2009, 1:00 PM

I feel that the entire situation was handeled poorly adn the chain of command as well as her first line supervisor should be ashamed and embarrrassed that it even went thos far. Extensions are allowed with a FCP and they also have to be validated. The comment about having one more child to supervise must be from a single person with no one to take care of but themselves. I comment the single soldier taking the time to ensure that her son is placed in capable hands. It would be a tradegy to be deployed and constantly wondering about the welfare of your child. You will be distracted and may pose harm to your self and fellow workers because your head in ont in the game. I do not feel that she is avoiding deployment, I feel that she is just coming up with the bast posible solution to care for her child in her absence. A year is a long time to have a baby sitter and with the news spotlighting child abuse and negelct, who in their right mind would not be careful and concerned about their off springs.

Anonymous November 17, 2009, 1:30 PM

Yes, she should have had a family care plan in place, but I would also hold her chain of command responsible. Her supervisor and commander should have nipped that in the bud, when her son was born. And to say that the military is no place for a single mother, is ABSURD. The majority of these comments were obviously made by individuals that have never been in the military. It is extremely difficult to chose a person to care for your child if the event of a deployment. My husband and I are both in the military, and being married doesnt make it any eaiser. Makes me wonder, what if i was in this position, what if my husband was deployed, and then I had to also. Would you say the military is no place for women with children?? How dare you say that she taking goverment money, and then not doing her job by not deploying. She has done more for her country by just joining, than any of you will ever do.

mercaties November 17, 2009, 6:45 PM

Sorry but when you choose to be a parent that child comes first no matter what even before serving for our counry. So, yes I’am saying that single parents with no other parent around should not be in the military. This poor child has to be raised without it’s mother. A year is along time for a young child to go without seeing it’s parent.

Anonymous November 18, 2009, 12:25 PM

It is inconceivable that they would send a mother of a ten month old child to war. Are they freaking sick in their minds? Now look where they are sending her? To Iraq! A war that was never supposed to be in the first place. A war based on bullshit and lies told by BUSH and his cronies. I hope that young people who are considering joining the army look at this example . Whose freedom and what freedom would she be defending by going to Iraq? Did Iraq attack the USA? I support this Mom not be used to score political points by the Bush Administration. Why isn’t Bush’s daughters and Rumsfeldt’s children fighting in Iraq? Why none of those politicians kids presently in Iraq? What was the purpose of the Iraq war? What is the Iraq war supposed to achieve?

Those politicians and army buffs should stop playing around with our young peoples lives. They have fabricated evidence to start a war and is now pushing our young people to fight for a cause that is not worth it. What they should do is to end this failed campaign and witdraw our kids from this cesspool.

Dandi Phil Kastell November 18, 2009, 12:29 PM

It is inconceivable that they would send a mother of a ten month old child to war. Are they freaking sick in their minds? Now look where they are sending her? To Iraq! A war that was never supposed to be in the first place. A war based on bullshit and lies told by BUSH and his cronies. I hope that young people who are considering joining the army look at this example . Whose freedom and what freedom would she be defending by going to Iraq? Did Iraq attack the USA? I support this Mom not be used to score political points by the Bush Administration. Why isn’t Bush’s daughters and Rumsfeldt’s children fighting in Iraq? Why none of those politicians kids presently in Iraq? What was the purpose of the Iraq war? What is the Iraq war supposed to achieve?

Those politicians and army buffs should stop playing around with our young peoples lives. They have fabricated evidence to start a war and is now pushing our young people to fight for a cause that is not worth it.

Anonymous November 19, 2009, 6:30 AM

“Why isn’t Bush’s daughters and Rumsfeldt’s children fighting in Iraq? Why none of those politicians kids presently in Iraq?”-um, because they did not sign up and this woman did?


MC November 19, 2009, 7:33 AM

First let me start off by saying, Me and my husband are currently in Iraq together we have 2 children back at home and I miss them dearly. I knew when I joined the Military we had to have a family care plan in place before I even enlisted. My husband has been in the Marines now for 12 years and me in the Army now 6. I think truthfully she is just trying to avoid a deployment. Me and my husband have beenn gone every other year. I just think she is trying to BS the media. I’m sorry but I do not feel even a bit of sympathy for this lady.

Someone who knows November 20, 2009, 8:00 PM

First - the unit isn’t in Iraq. It’s in Afghanistan - please check the first sentence of this article. And the person who is complaining about Iraq - have you been there? Have you seen the good our Army is doing? Doubtful. But that’s okay. The point is learn to read - we’re in Afghanistan.

Second - the public does not know all the facts. It’s easy to just take what the media tells you and make your own assumptions about what’s going on or her intentions or how the Army is being “so mean and heartless” but the truth is, the reason you’re not hearing a lot from the Army-side is because they can’t talk because the case is ongoing. If you stick with this story through the court martial you’ll see that she’s a liar.

Third - I understand that when you have a child the child obviously comes first, however if you know in advance that you are going to deploy and that you will not be able to care the child properly, you need to do the mature things to not get pregnant without a way to support the child. It’s not like the Army surprised her with a deployment. Our unit (as in, I work with her) knew since she got to the unit in 2008 that we were going to deploy at the end of 2009. It wasn’t a surprise. She had time to find a family care plan (about two years).

Fourth - what many people do not know is that when a woman is pregnant, the Army will give you the opportunity to get out of your contract without any reservations or hard feelings. They will pay for you to have the child and then help you find a job should you decide that, I don’t know, your family care plan isn’t going to work when you deploy (since you DO know that you’re going to be deploying).

Fifth - The unit did everything right. They even tried to talk with her to get the solution solved BEFORE she went to the media the media broke out with the story, but she didn’t want a solution, she didn’t even want to meet with her leaders, all she wanted a lawyer. Now WHY wouldn’t she want a solution to the problem?

So to say that the Army did her wrong is an injustice. She signed an agreement to serve the country - they could have held her to that if the Army truely only cared about their body count, but they didn’t, they said, “hey you’re pregnant, are you sure you want to do this? We can help you find a new job if you want to.” She said no, so the Army now is only holding her to her own commitment.

The truth is this is the final ploy of a series of attempts to get out of the deployment - but you’ll hear about that in court…. if you care enough to follow it… which I doubt many of you do.

Unavailble soldier November 24, 2009, 4:01 PM

gg

Anonymous November 26, 2009, 9:47 AM

First of all I would rather be on welfare than enlist in the service. No amount of money is worth my children’s well-being. I trust no one with my children. What country asks a parent to abandon a 10 month old? Are they serious? The age to deploy and leave a child behind should be raised. We don’t know if she is nursing the baby? People are so quick to judge others. There are people out there that do some sick things to children. People who elist with children are selfish and probably should not have any. The purpose of having children is to be there for them always, watch them grow and raise them to be responsible individuals. You can’t do that if your not around. You are no better than a dead beat dad or mom. It’s no one else responsibility to raise the children but the parents.

thomkat July 22, 2010, 3:48 PM

and where is the childs father? seems a viable option.

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