ACTION ALERT: Army Sends Infant to Protective Services, Mom to Afghanistan
November 14, 2009
Friends of Alexis and Courage to Resist
Take action to protest the treatment of single mother, Specialist Alexis Hutchinson who has stated: "It is outrageous that [the US Army] would deploy a single mother without a complete and current family care plan. I would like to find someone I trust who can take care of my son, but I cannot force my family to do this. They are dealing with their own health issues."
• Contact Congresswoman Barbara Lee to urge her to "Request that the Army not deploy Alexis Hutchinson to Afghanistan so that she can care for her son." From the 9th District (Oakland-Berkeley, CA) phone: 510-763-0370 (fax: 510-763-6538). Nationwide: 202- 225-2661 (fax: 202-225-9817).
• Donate to Alexis' legal and family support fund (couragetoresist.org/alexis)
• Alexis' attorney now available for media interviews.
OAKLAND, California (November 12, 2009) — Specialist Alexis Hutchinson of Oakland, CA is the single mother of an 11-month old boy, Kamani. Currently she is confined to Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah, Georgia, where she has been posted since February 2008, and threatened with a court martial if she does not agree to be deployed to Afghanistan, even though she has not found anyone to take care of her child while she is away.
In anticipation of going overseas Specialist Hutchinson flew to California and left her son with her mother Angelique Hughes of Oakland, as per her Army family care plan. However, after a week of caring for the child Specialist Hutchinson's mother realized that she was unable to take care of Kamani on top of her other duties to her special-needs daughter, her ailing mother, and her ailing sister.
In late October, Angelique Hughes informed Hutchinson and her commander, Captain Gassant, that she was not able to care for her daughter's baby after all. The Army gave Specialist Hutchinson an extension of time to find someone else to care for her son, and in the meantime her mother brought Kamani back to Georgia.
However just a few days before Specialist Hutchinson was scheduled to deploy she was told that she would not get the extended time after all and would have to deploy, even though there was no one to care for her child.
Faced with that choice Specialist Hutchinson did not show up for her plane. The military had her arrested and they put her child in the county foster care system. Currently, Specialist Hutchinson is scheduled to fly to Afghanistan for a special court martial on Sunday and is facing up to one year in jail. Her mother flew to Georgia and retrieved the baby but is overwhelmed, and does not feel able to provide long-term care for Kamani.
Specialist Hutchinson would like to have more time to find someone to care for her infant. However, she does not have a lot of family or friends who could do so. She says: "It is outrageous that they would deploy a single mother without a complete and current family care plan. I would like to find someone I trust who can take care of my son, but I cannot force my family to do this. They are dealing with their own health issues."