Mom unsure about her future with the Army

December 28, 2009 7:06:22 PM PST
An Oakland Army mother who refused to go to Afghanistan because of child care issues, has been reunited with her son for the holidays. She could be court-martialed.

Army specialist Alexis Hutchinson and her baby are enjoying the holidays together at home in Oakland, unsure what the new year will bring.

"I'm trying to take one day at a time. I don't want to think, 'Oh, I'm going to jail,'" she said.

The military is debating her future after the 21-year-old single mom refused to deploy to Afghanistan last month

"I basically had a choice between defending my country and being with my child," she said.

She says she could not go to war with other soldiers at the Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia, because there was no one to care for her son, Kamani.

Her mother initially volunteered, but became overwhelmed by other family obligations. When the army placed the 11-month-old in custody, his grandma rushed to take him back.

Hutchinson had not seen Kamani for weeks, until the military let her go home for the holidays.

"It's been great just to see my baby," she said

Dina McKain from Fort Stewart Public Affairs told ABC7, "The command has informed her of some alternatives for childcare if her mother is unable to continue with the care. So far, Specialist Hutchinson has chosen not to take advantage of any of these options."

"The only option I have is a discharge," she said.

Hutchinson says she is not alone.

"There are other people who have been discharged for not having a family care plan and have been screwed over," she said.

But the Army says, "There are no other similar cases in Hutchinson's 3rd infantry division and that there are thousands and thousands of soldiers who have deployed overseas despite difficult personal situations."

Hutchinson will bring in the new year at her Oakland home and says when she returns to the army on January 6, her baby goes with her.


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