February 12th, 2010
08:53 AM ET

Single mom discharged, Army says

A single mother who chose taking care of her infant over deploying to Afghanistan has been discharged, the Army said in a statement. When her unit deployed to Afghanistan in November, Alexis Hutchinson was missing from the plane. Her lawyer said she refused to go because there was no one to take care of her then 10-month-old son, Kamani, and she feared he would be placed in foster care.

But the Army contended that the young mother and now former Army specialist had plenty of time to sort out family issues and said she could face court-martial. The issue was resolved this week, the Army said in a statement Thursday from Fort Stewart in Georgia, where Hutchinson was training.

"The soldier will not be tried by court-martial and therefore is not at risk of receiving a federal conviction," the statement said. " She is, however, reduced to the lowest enlisted rank, private, and subject to losing other military benefits from the Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs to which soldiers who serve honorably are entitled."

Before shipping overseas, every soldier must sign military Form D-A 53-05, which states that failure to maintain a family care plan could result in disciplinary action.

Hutchinson's attorney, Rai Sue Sussman, said the soldier informed the Army that her family care plan had fallen through and that there was no one to take care of her son.

She was granted a 30-day extension to deal with the issue but still was not ready to deploy after the extension had expired, the Army said.

"The investigation revealed evidence, from both other soldiers and from Private Hutchinson herself, that she didn't intend to deploy to Afghanistan with her unit and deliberately sought ways out of the deployment," the Army statement said.

Hutchinson could not be immediately reached for comment.


Filed under: Troops
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Beth

    "That's how many thieves think before they break into a house. Serial killers feel they need to be charge also."

    I really don't know how your train of thought went from what I said to this. And I don't know what a thief thinks before robbing a house. I am not a thief. I don't know what serial killers feel....haven't studied them nor am I one.
    But, I do know, My daughter does a service to our country. She's not a thief or serial killer either.

    February 16, 2010 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. Marcus

    "Those are your words. I said you want the government to pay your way, meaning to the war you choose."

    Earlier you stated:

    "the people that serve our country honorably (unlike this woman) should be revered for the sacrifice they're willing to make. "

    You went from commending people to now charging them.

    "And if there's nobody in this country that you'd like to declare war against, then our military must be doing a pretty good job."

    That has to be the most uninformed knee-jerk comment I have read. Because I get along with people, the US military had something to do with it?

    February 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mark

    "You say I am angry, but now you say I don't want to kill. Which is it? This shows you have NO idea what you are talking about."

    So you want to kill every time you're angry? I hope I'm not around the next time your favorite TV show is cancelled. Maybe you wouldn't make the best flight attendant after all.

    "I never stated I wanted government to pay my way (in life)."

    I didn't say "in life" – Those are your words. I said you want the government to pay your way, meaning to the war you choose.

    If you want to choose your own war, feel free to walk up to anyone and say "I hereby declare war on you!" And if there's nobody in this country that you'd like to declare war against, then our military must be doing a pretty good job.

    February 14, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Marcus

    "you cover their back and pray you all make it out alive"

    I am atheist, so I wouldn't pray. However, I can relate. If we were attacked I would support a fellow American, doesn't matter if they are theist or atheist. However, I can't support an atheist or theist who goes to another country and kills.

    "If you really think about it would anyone really choose war?"

    No, but they have been conditioned/brainwashed to be commanded to kill.

    "strap bombs to their bodies....overpower commercial airlines kill innocent people that did not choose to die!"

    If they are in the US already, then how is going to Afghanistan going to stop them?

    "You sign up (IF you choose to do so) wear what they tell you to wear and you go where the powers that be tell you to go and you do what the powers that be tell you to do....within the rules of war. Someone has to be in charge."

    That's how many thieves think before they break into a house. Serial killers feel they need to be charge also.

    February 14, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. Beth

    ' how is that taken?"Hello!!! You look out for your fellow soldiers. You care...you cover their back and pray you all make it out alive and hope someone cares enough to cover your back too...If you can't do that then NO.... DO NOT sign up...they don't want you. And, no you don't get to choose your war. If you really think about it would anyone really choose war? Some people maybe wrapped their brains around things too tight....strap bombs to their bodies....overpower commercial airlines kill innocent people that did not choose to die! Yet here we are. You sign up (IF you choose to do so) wear what they tell you to wear and you go where the powers that be tell you to go and you do what the powers that be tell you to do....within the rules of war. Someone has to be in charge.

    February 14, 2010 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. Marcus

    "you appear to have a lot of deep-seated anger"

    Wow, we go around this planet and impose western rule. Anyone opposed to this colonizing has anger.

    "You want to choose where to go."

    YES

    "You don’t want to kill people."

    NO. You say I am angry, but now you say I don't want to kill. Which is it? This shows you have NO idea what you are talking about.

    "You want the government to pay your way"

    Who said this? I never stated I wanted government to pay my way (in life). I am willing to be trained to DEFEND the US in case it is attacked. However, I don't want to be called up to go kill other people in another country.

    This is what the government is doing and this is what this lady refused to take part in. Do you have deep rooted anger that makes you want to kill people? If you are so patriotic and you want to be peaceful, pick up a language book. Learn to speak in another language. Talk to people in that language. Not all people are good, but you can at least try to communicate first before pointing a gun at them and shooting when commanded.

    Do you remember the saying, "Walk softly and carry a big stick"? US is running around the world like bees stinging everyone instead. When will we go back to dealing with issues at home instead of policing other countries?

    "People who join the military, however, are told before they sign up that they could be deployed anywhere, at any time."

    That's right, and that's why I didn't sign up. I would rather be trained to DEFEND the country if attacked. I don't want to be trained as a bully to go around picking fights with people in different countries.

    February 13, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mark

    Marcus, you appear to have a lot of deep-seated anger. Let me see if I can help you find your perfect job:

    1. You want to choose where to go.
    2. You don't want to kill people.
    3. You want the government to pay your way.

    The closest I can come is politician, but the anger issues might prevent you from getting elected. So I would suggest flight attendant. But not on Southwest, they don't have anger issues there.

    People who join the military, however, are told before they sign up that they could be deployed anywhere, at any time. Again – If that's not your bag, then don't sign up for the job. If the employer doesn't offer the perfect job for you, then don't blame the employer.

    February 13, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Marcus

    "should do what they said they would do"

    Ok, so I said I "would" defend my country. How is that taken? What if I want to sign up for the army and PICK MY WAR?

    HUH? Where is the option to PICK MY WAR?

    At which point can an individual sign up and PICK THEIR WAR?

    It's either sit back and do nothing and not sign up, or sign up and agree to be commanded.

    I want something in between. I am willing to DEFEND, but I do not want to be commanded to kill someone else like a pawn in some politician's chess game.

    Therefore, I DO NOT sign up for the army. Now, if you can wrap your head around that, you will understand why I do not take part in this. Wake up people.

    February 13, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mark

    If you won't kill when commanded to, then joining the military might possibly be a poor career decision.

    February 13, 2010 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Beth

    Marcus, i partially agree with your comments. The real issue is not that they are"pawns in some politicians army" because they all are.... all over the world....they all are...thats just the reality of our so called civilized world. However, all branches of the U.S. Military are voluntary at this time. There is no draft...they are NOT forced into service. Therefore, in my opinion, they (m or f) should do what they said they would do. Or, they shouldn't have said they would do it!! It's called honor. I am so proud of my daughter stationed in Afghanistan serving in the U.S. Army. Now, to quote Forest Gump "thats all I have to say about that". Except I luv Tom Hanks

    February 13, 2010 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. John

    Mark said it like it is. If we all had Marcus' attitude, there would be no USA.

    February 13, 2010 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Marcus

    It's interesting, you say freedom. However, there is no freedom in being commanded to kill when you don't want to. If she chose to serve her country at home, there is no less honor and more in my opinion than invading another country.

    America is going around playing police to the rest of the world. How much protection does America need? The sky's the limit? America shouldn't be able to just go into any country in a name of protecting Americans who will never go to countries like Afghanistan or Iraq.

    February 13, 2010 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mark

    Marcus, would you prefer another option? Maybe a group of commanders who have no military to command? Or a military with no commanders?

    Remember: A country without a military is another country's territory.

    By the way, the people that serve our country honorably (unlike this woman) should be revered for the sacrifice they're willing to make. They're the ones that protect the freedom that you enjoy, allowing you to post your rants without consequence.

    February 13, 2010 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. Marcus

    The mere notion of being commanded to kill like a pawn and possibly be killed as that pawn in some politician's chess game is so bizarre. I can understand picking your wars, I can understand defending your country voluntarily, but to be commanded to murder another human being should be illegal.

    These commanders have no regard for human life. They don't care about babies growing up with or without parents, nor do they seem to care about the unnecessary wars they are perpetuating.

    February 12, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lisa

    As the mother of a son who is int he US Army and just returned from Iraq, there is clearly a double standard being set forth here with this situation. I do not believe for one moment that this soldier could not find a family member or friend to care for her child while she was deployed. My son was not allowed any exception and she signed all the same papers he did and he spent a year putting himself in harms way. I'm appalled that she has not been court martialed for this.

    February 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  16. HM2

    What a disgrace.....I'm a single mother of a two year old little girl and i'm deployed. The family care plan is mandatory!!!!! I miss my child to the utmost, and she is not in foster care. I have been gone from home for 6 months and have another 6 months. So for those who say it can't be done, i'm proof that it can. These little girls need to grow up and learn to be women.

    February 12, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  17. SF

    This is a complete copout. All soldiers with dependents are required to have a family care plan in place. Thousands have deployed leaving behind dependents to stay with a designated care taker. It's absolutely no surprise, especially since 9-11, that all soldiers will eventually have to "go over the pond" for a combat tour.

    February 12, 2010 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |