So I was kicking back with Kathie Lee & Hoda this morning and catching up on the, ahem, important issues of the day when the duo gave about twenty seconds to the story of Army mom, Alexis Hutchinson who is AWOL following her failure to return to duty in Afghanistan after her own mother was no longer able to care for her 11-month-old son. After missing her plane Hutchinson is under arrest and her baby has been taken by Child Protective Services. Kathie Lee came down on the side of “the rules,” stating, “I’m not all for anarchy because I know human beings too well. Anarchy is a really bad choice.”
Don’t know a lot of single moms who’ve got the time to be anarchists; it seems to me this is a young mother who has zero options. The lack of sympathy from Gifford is typical in the USA where paid maternity leave is rarely an option and paternity leave completely non-existent. Additionally, childcare is an unaffordable (for many, many people) private expense that significantly raises the stress levels in working parents. Of course Kathie Lee had just spent more time defending Pat Robertson than discussing the plight of Hutchinson, so perhaps her reaction shouldn’t be too surprising.
Michael Moore’s site gives a little bit more information on the case –
Rai Sue Sussman is an attorney who helps military men and women in similar situations. She says Hutchinson, with a friend by her side, turned herself in.
“The military police arrested her and wouldn’t let her friend take her child and so they took him away and put him in Child Protective Services,” said Sussman.
Hutchinson now faces a number of charges. Sussman listed them as: “AWOL, missing movement, desertion, failing to have a family care plane and disobeying an officer.”
An Army representative spoke to ABC7 about the case.
“Because her case could present hardship, to not only to her child but her family, the command is working with her and her legal council to resolve this situation,” said Kevin M. Larson with the U.S. Army.
In the meantime she will not be deployed.
“He’s been taken away from his mother. By the time he actually sees his mother, he’ll probably be 2-year-old. Will she even know who she is at that point in time? It’s ridiculous,” said Hughes.
According to the Army spokesperson, right now Hutchinson is not under arrest, but is confined to Hunter Army Airfield until this matter is resolved.
The military gives new moms four months to remain stateside before they are deployed to a war zone. Also, in the army, the divorce rate of female soldiers was three times higher last year than among male soldiers.
But one thing that is missing from this story: Where is the father? Obviously he’s not in the young woman’s life but if he’s able, he should be stepping in to care for the child. If he’s also in the military or otherwise indisposed, does he have parents or grandparents who could help? This young mother is taking 100% of the burden and punishment while her child is ripped away from her. How is this acceptable on any level? And Kathie Lee, why don’t you save some of your sympathy for your racist buddy Robertson and share it with this young mother trying to care for her child.