U.S. Army Spc. Alexis Hutchinson was supposed to deploy to Afghanistan as a cook but she had no one to care for her infant son. She was told to her 10-month-old would go to foster care!!! So she refused to deploy as scheduled.
Single parents must file a child care plan with the Army and Hutchinson had one. Her mother was supposed to care for her infant when she deployed. However, her mother was caring for three other family members and didn’t feel she was up to caring for the baby. (As mothers, we can relate to how difficult and time consuming caring for a 10-month old is!)
Angelique Hughes, the soldier’s mother, 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.
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.
He 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.”
I hope that common sense will prevail in this case. This mother needs to be allowed to serve here in the States until she can find appropriate care for her child that doesn’t involves relinquishing her baby to foster care!
I’m not sure how feasible it is, but I personally don’t think mothers with small children should be separated at all from their babies and should be allowed to serve domestically. I believe irreparable harm can be caused by a long-term separation from the child’s mother.
I absolutely would not leave my child for even a day with someone I didn’t completely know or trust much less hand your baby over to strangers for a year!
Was Hutchinson right to refuse to deploy until she can find appropriate child care? Should mothers be deployed abroad when they have small children at home? At what age would it be appropriate to send a mother away from her child?
Should Dads have different rules? Is it any easier for a father to separate from his child? Are they needed less by the child than the mother?