A recent post about a single mother soldier who refused deployment to care for her son has spurred a lively debate about what limits and protections, if any, should be afforded to mothers in the military.
While some commentators are arguing that women have no place in the army whatsoever, others are arguing that no soldier deserves special treatment and that women who “shirk their responsibilities make things harder for those who are trying to receive equal treatment.”
This video, which synthesizes coverage of the Alexis Hutchinson story, could help ground the debate and raises some new questions.
A blogger at Momania raises the interesting question of whether military mothers with young children should ever be deployed overseas. She writes, “I personally don’t think mothers with small children should be separated at all from their babies and should be allowed to serve domestically.”
Not coming from a military background myself, I can’t evaluate how feasible this suggestion is, but I agree that this option should at least be considered. However, I would expand “mothers” to include any primary caregiver.
What do you think? Are separations from young children an inescapable part of military life, which all soldiers must accept when they enlist? Or should the military put safeguards in place to avoid these separations?