AP article here.
There's obviously a LOT missing from it - it sounds like the chain of command failed to support the soldier, possibly thinking that she was making it up. SPC Hutchinson did have a family care plan that fell through (her mother was overburdened) and asked for an extension to solve the problem. According to her lawyer, they told her they'd deploy her even if it meant the son was in foster care.
Obviously, not showing up wasn't the right answer, either.
I'm a single parent, by divorce, and my ex-husband is also military, so I am familiar with the family care plan and the burdens of being a single parent. Luckily, my parents were able to step up to the plate and handle things while I was gone, as they agreed to in my FCP.
Then I found this article, and thought I was going to enjoy it: Balance in Reporting Operative word, THOUGHT.
One of many striking omissions in the coverage of SPC Hutchinson's story has been the lack of information about the child's father. If this man is mentioned at all - it's only a passing reference such as this from SPC Hutchinson's attorney Rai Sue Sussman, "Hutchinson is no longer in a relationship with the father." How does the father's relationship with the mother negate the relationship with his son? Has America grown so accustomed to absent, irresponsible fathers that we just assume the guy cannot or will not step up and care for his child? Who is this man? Where is this man? Why isn't he part of this story along with the mother, SPC Hutchinson?
Well, I'll hazard a guess and say this: HE'S PROBABLY IN THE MILITARY. Maybe he's already deployed. Maybe he's not fit to be around his child.
If he is in the military, he can't be part of the FCP. Even if they were married, they'd still have to have one.
The last line makes me really annoyed: The case of SPC Alexis Hutchinson appears to be far more about the need for dual parenting and personal responsibility than Army policy.
Thanks. Never mind that some of us started out as a partnership - one that is now dissolved.