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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, said 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.
Her civilian attorney, Rai Sue Sussman, said Monday that one of Hutchinson's superiors told her she would have to deploy anyway and place the child in foster care.
"For her it was like, 'I couldn't abandon my child,'" Sussman said. "She was really afraid of what would happen, that if she showed up they would send her to Afghanistan anyway and put her son with child protective services."
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.
A single-mom soldier who says she refused to deploy to Afghanistan because she had no family able to care for her young son will be discharged from the military instead of facing a court-martial, the Army said Thursday.
The decision still carries consequences for Hutchinson. She is being demoted in rank to private and will lose benefits afforded to military service members and veterans, Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said.
Originally posted by Jessicamsa
I am glad she isn't going to prison. That would not have accomplished anything really.