Single Army Mom Who Couldn’t Deploy Without Child Care Loses Rank And Benefits
The single mom who was facing a court martial because a lack of child care prevented her from going off to war is being discharged instead, but not without consequences.
Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, an Army cook stationed at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, was arrested in November after skipping her unit’s deployment flight. Hutchinson, 21, said she couldn’t leave her son because her mother had backed out of plans to keep the child a few days before the soldier’s scheduled departure.
The Army filed criminal charges last month against Hutchinson of Oakland, Calif., but a general at neighboring Fort Stewart chose to settle the case by granting her an administrative discharge rather than try her in a military court.
But Hutchinson is being demoted to private and is losing benefits. Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson says it’s the Army’s position that Hutchinson has no intention of deploying to Afghanistan regardless of the childcare issue, which is the reason for reducing her rank and her benefits.
“This case wasn’t about a soldier having to choose between her duty to the nation and her family,” Larson said. “There is evidence both from Pvt. Hutchinson and her fellow soldiers to indicate she had no intentions of deploying.”
[Hutchinson’s attorney Rai Sue] Sussman denied that Hutchinson was exploiting her status as a single-mom to get out of going to Afghanistan.Click here for reuse options!
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