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Seeking time to plan for son, Army mother is arrested
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 : OAKLAND, Calif. - For now, U.S. Army Specialist Alexis Hutchinson has not been forced to deploy to Afghanistan, leaving her 11-month-old son, Kamani, in foster care. But in recent days matters hung in the balance, after plans for Kamani's care fell apart under pressure of other family members' special needs.
Hutchinson, 21 and from Oakland, joined the Army in 2007, and has been stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, near Savannah, Ga., since early 2008. She had expected to deploy to Afghanistan with her unit earlier this month, and in preparation, had flown here to leave Kamani with her mother, Angelique Hughes. But after a week, Hughes realized she couldn't continue to care for her grandson on top of her responsibilities to a special needs daughter and an ailing mother and sister.
The Army promised Hutchinson a four-week extension to work out a new plan for Kamani, and in the meantime Hughes brought the boy back to his mother in Georgia.
But midway through the promised extension, the Army told Hutchinson she would have to deploy right away. She then decided not to appear for the flight to Afghanistan. Although she is not a war resister or conscientious objector, she contacted Courage to Resist, an Oakland-based organization that supports military resisters.
Hutchinson returned to base voluntarily after less than 24 hours. She was arrested, and Kamani placed in foster care until Hughes again brought him to Oakland. Hutchinson was initially threatened with being flown to Afghanistan for a special court martial after which she would face a year in jail; she is now under restriction. Hughes continues to feel she cannot care for her grandson in the long term.Read More