Monday, August 2, 2010

'Army Wives' Takes on Single Parenting When Mommy's Deployed Overseas

While researching my latest column about a recent ripped-from-the-headlines story on Army Wives about the legal troubles facing a single mom who was threatened with court martial for failing to deploy when  childcare for her baby fell through, I happened upon a few stunning statistics about parenting and the military:

-- There are more than 70,500 single parents on the active duty in the U.S. military, which makes up about five percent of the U.S. military, reported the Associated Press.

-- More than 100,000 female soldiers who have served and/or are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are mothers, the New York Times reported, adding, “The vast majority are primary caregivers, and a third are single mothers.”

-- A U.S. major general overseeing operations in Northern Iraq was pressured into backing off of a controversial directive he'd given last year threatening a soldier who “becomes pregnant or impregnates another service member, including married couples assigned to the same unit” with a possible court martial or disciplinary action.” The policy was vigorously assailed by many folks including four female U.S. Senators.

In the wake of the recent Army Wives episode, I looked at how a single mom who was slated to deploy but didn't when her childcare plans were kaflooey played out in real life earlier this year, as well as on the fictional realm of Army Wives, in my weekly Mommy Tracked pop culture and politics column.

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