Updated on October 14, 2011
Single Parents in the Military
Let me start off by saying that I am going to piss some of you off with the opinion you are about to read! But I am SICK and TIRED of people NOT understanding what the word “MILITARY” means.
AnÂ articleÂ from the Washington Post titled “For soldiers, single motherhood becomes another battlefield” brings up the question of single parents in the military. Now I understand that there are many people that want to serve their country, but not all should. Heck, I tried at the age of 42 but my body did notÂ cooperateÂ and I chose to come home. I felt, even though the Army was willing to do what it took to help me over come the problems in my lower back and hips, that it was better for my fellow soldiers for me to stay home and give them all the support I can, than to be the weak link. And that is what I felt I would be. If you can not perform the duties required to the fullest,Â whetherÂ physically or mentally, then you are just putting the people around you at risk.
I don’t care if you are single, married, a single parent, or a married parent, when you sign on the line to join the Military, you should know that one day you could be sent into battle and have to leave your children behind. If you have children, then you need to weight theÂ responsibilitiesÂ as a parent against those of being in the military. What is best for you and what you feel you and your family can deal with may not be what is best for your career in the military. I am NOT saying that all militaryÂ personnelÂ should be single, many make it work. Yes, it is hard on the whole family, I don’t deny that, BUT, what do you think the military is and does?
I get so tired of people that say they joined the military to get out of this or that, or to get a “free” education. It isn’t free! That “free” education or “free” ticket out of the situation you are in could be paid for with your life. To me that is veryÂ expensive! If you are not willing to lay your life down for this Country, DO NOT JOIN THE MILITARY! It is that plain and simple.
Yes, the military still has many things that it needs to work out where women are concerned, health care and women in a combat MOS are just two. But as the article, “G.I. Jane Breaks the Combat Barrier” that they reference from “The New Your Times”, many women are honorablyÂ provingÂ that they can handle “the shit” just as well as many men that they stand beside in battle. So how can it be any different for a single mother in the military then a single father? Just a few years ago a friend of mine that was in the Navy, retiredÂ becauseÂ he and his wife divorced, Â and he got custody of their children. Feeling that it was better for him and his boys, he gave up a military career that he dearly loved. I respect his decision, I am saddened by it, but respect it. He was, and still is to me, a great Sailor! And look at CJ and theÂ battlesÂ he has gone through over the last year. He is still in the Army AND doing his duty as a parent. Yes, it has cost him greatly, butÂ apparentlyÂ he was willing to make that sacrifice for the things he believes in, the Army and being a Dad.
Many years ago during WWII, my grandmother was in the Army. First she was a flight instructor and then a darkroom tech. When she became pregnant with my mom, she was released from the Army with aÂ dishonorableÂ discharge.There was no debate about it and she had no choice. Today, women can stay in the military when they become pregnant whether they are married or not. That is a great thing! We have come a long way in the last 60 to 70 years. But to sit there and refuse to deploy when you have known for months that it is going to happen isÂ inexcusable. Â I understand in the case ofÂ Spec. Alexis Hutchinson that her mother wasÂ supposedÂ to take care of her son, but she was offered other helpÂ andÂ refused it.
Now granted I don’t know all the regulations and maybe CJ and Marcus can help me with this, but can’t a person get out of the militaryÂ sitingÂ hardship, without getting a “other-than-honorable” discharge? According to the story, Hutchinson choose the”other-than-honorable” dischargeÂ becauseÂ she could get on with her life and would not have to face court-martial or possible jail time. In a way, I canÂ understandÂ that decision andÂ sympathizeÂ with her. But I have many questions that these articles do not answer. Did she exhaust every means possible to delay her deployment and find otherÂ arrangements? Is there not any other family? And what about the offer of help that she did get and refused? Why did she refuse it? What were the conditions of it? There are a lot of unanswered questions. I believe that MSM has yet again taken a story and reported only half of it to, once again, make the military out to be a bunch of cold-hearted bastards!