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Old 06-13-2011, 01:51 PM   #1
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Default [Article] Army prosecutes single mother

Army prosecutes single mother for refusing to deploy and put her son in foster care.

By Alex Seitz-Wald on Jan 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm

soldier_mom (1)Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, a 21-year-old Army cook, refused to deploy to Afghanistan in November because she had no one to take care of her 10-month-old son. Hutchinson said when she brought her situation to her superiors’ attention, they told her that she would have to deploy anyway and place the child in foster care. “For her it was like, ‘I couldn’t abandon my child,’” her civilian attorney Rai Sue Sussman told the AP. After skipping her unit’s flight out of Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, GA, military police arrested her and confined her to the base while prosecutors decided how to proceed. Today, the Army filed charges against her and, if convicted in a court-martial, she faces several years in prison and a dishonorable discharge:

A spokesman for Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah said Wednesday that Hutchinson has been charged with missing movement — for missing her overseas flight — being absent without leave, dereliction of duty and insubordinate conduct.

The stiffest charge, missing movement, carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. … But first, an officer will be appointed to decide if there’s enough evidence to try a case against her

There are 70,500 single parents on active duty in the U.S. military, but cases like Hutchinson’s are “rare.” 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 had agreed to care for the boy but became “overwhelmed” caring for three other relatives and decided she couldn’t keep the baby for a full year. An Army spokesman said the Army would not deploy a single parent with no one to care for his or her child.

---------- Post added at 12:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:50 PM ----------

Army spares single mother from a court-martial, but still demotes her and revokes benefits.

By Amanda Terkel on Feb 12, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Alexis Hutchinson Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, a 21-year-old Army cook, refused to deploy to Afghanistan in November because she had no one to take care of her 10-month-old son. Hutchinson said when she brought her situation to her superiors***8217; attention, they told her that she would have to deploy anyway and place the child in foster care. After skipping her unit***8217;s flight out of Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, GA, military police arrested her, and the Army eventually filed charges. However, today, the New York Times reports that the Hutchinson won***8217;t be facing a court-martial, which could have resulted in jail time if she had been convicted:

On Thursday, Specialist Hutchinson received an other-than-honorable discharge, ending an impasse that had surprised many legal experts and spurred lively debate in military circles.

In a news release, the Third Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Ga., said Specialist Hutchinson***8217;s rank had been reduced to private and that she would lose some Army and veterans***8217; benefits.

Last year, there were more than ***8220;10,000 single parents on active military duty deployed overseas,***8221; and legal experts speculated that commanders may have been using Hutchinson***8217;s case to ***8220;send a message to other single-parent soldiers in the brigade.***8221;
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Article] Army prosecutes single mot

I remember this case. And you know what, I have to side with the Army on this one. When you enlist, they are pretty clear about what will happen. I was checking out JAG recently because I thought it might be different for officers... nope. My deployment would be shorter, but I would still have to give up custody of my child if I were deployed. No way would I do that. There is plenty of notice of what is expected and what will happen. I have little sympathy for the discharge or the loss of benefits.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Article] Army prosecutes single mot

well since it was less than honorable, she will have to wait one year, then she can petition her Senator and can have it move up to a General discharge.
then she will get all her benefits back.

Brouther got caught doing something stupid, after it was all said and done.
he had a LTH and had to wait, but he did and it's now a General discharge.

she's lucky they didn't go after a BCD or Dishonorable, that one sticks to you forever.
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Article] Army prosecutes single mot

Sucks, but there are regulations for a reason.

I'm currious if there is legislature in place to prevent non-military ex's from using deployments as leverage to permenantly modify custody plans.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Article] Army prosecutes single mot

Isn't there something in the contract about this? If so, sorry, she signed. That's why it's ALWAYS good to read every detail of a contract.

I highly doubt the government would blindside someone like this. My opinion...don't just have a Plan B but also have a Plan D, E, and even F!!!
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Article] Army prosecutes single mot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
Sucks, but there are regulations for a reason.

I'm currious if there is legislature in place to prevent non-military ex's from using deployments as leverage to permenantly modify custody plans.
Yes, there is. First, court actions are very hard because you have to look to see if the person is in the military because there is a different set of standards for due process, first of all. In order to serve any kind of papers for family divisions, you have to have a certificate of miltary service. If they are in the military, there are issues and hoops you have to jump through.

also, the standard is the best interest of the children. Deployments are not even factors for visitation. I saw one case of a nonmilitary ex try to use that as a reason to cut down visitation -- I saw the judge spank the mother like I have never seen before, and tell her she should be ashamed to treat active military in that manner and she better have some other reason.......... needless to say, it did not go well for her.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Article] Army prosecutes single mot

that is exactly one of the reasons I will not join the military. I would love the stable pay and more job security than I have now but I have no one to care for my children in the event that I get deployed. Maybe she had the child unexpectedly after she was already in the military? Its hard to say but when you sign up you know what the deal is.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Article] Army prosecutes single mot

Quote:
Originally Posted by LSL View Post
Yes, there is. First, court actions are very hard because you have to look to see if the person is in the military because there is a different set of standards for due process, first of all. In order to serve any kind of papers for family divisions, you have to have a certificate of miltary service. If they are in the military, there are issues and hoops you have to jump through.

also, the standard is the best interest of the children. Deployments are not even factors for visitation. I saw one case of a nonmilitary ex try to use that as a reason to cut down visitation -- I saw the judge spank the mother like I have never seen before, and tell her she should be ashamed to treat active military in that manner and she better have some other reason.......... needless to say, it did not go well for her.

There's actually not different standards for due process among military at all LOL. There is a thing called The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act which basically only protects service members from legal action while they're deployed. Otherwise, game on. There are no hoops to jump through if you want to take legal action against a member of the military, we're all Americans after all LOL
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Article] Army prosecutes single mot

Boy I am glad I got in and out of active duty before all this war mess started.
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