Veteran Voices: military mom shares her story of separation and service
- Veteran Voices: military mom shares her story of ...
The U.S. military is changing. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been repealed, more women are serving, and the structure of military families is changing. More than 700,000 U.S. children now have a parent who is deployed in the military. Last year, Oakland resident Alexis Hutchinson made headlines when she refused to go to Afghanistan, saying she couldn’t find adequate childcare for her then-10-month-old child. She received an “other than honorable” discharge from the military. The Department of Defense estimates that there are more than 70,000 single parents on active duty. That represents only about 5% of service members, but the consequences of their deployment are complicated. Vilmarys Pichardo has more.
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May 24, 2011
VILMARYS PICHARDO: Imagine having to leave your baby behind. Former naval technician Tracy Crawford knows exactly what that’s like. She remembers the day she had to deploy and leave her son, Brandon, just a week before his first birthday.
TRACY CRAWFORD: I had my mom drop me off at the pier and he had fallen asleep in the car on the way to the ship that morning because it was before his wake-up time when I had to be there and you know he was half asleep in the car, I was all kissing on him, crying on him and then I hugged my mom.
Crawford was serving in the Navy in 2002 when she was deployed to the Middle East and had to leave her baby boy.
CRAWFORD: I’m walking down the pier just bawling my eyes out. A couple of the guys turn around and look at me because, you know, I am just bawling.
From the moment Brandon was born, Crawford knew she’d eventually have to leave, but she never thoug...
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