The Burning Question of the Day is: Under what circumstances, if any, should a member of the US military be allowed to refuse or "opt out" of a deployment?
Alexis Hutchinson, an Army cook out of Georgia is making news this week after refusing to deploy to Afghanistan. Ms. Hutchinson says that none of her family members were available to care for her 10 month old son, and when she approached her superior with this concern, she was told that she'd have to place her child in foster care while she deployed.
An army representative from the base told the press that a single mother would not be required to deploy if she did not have childcare for her son (which has always been my understanding of the military's policy). However, it does appear that she was arrested, and jailed briefly (and her son placed in protective custody briefly) after she refused to deploy.
In the song "Camilo", State Radio depicts a story about Camilo Mejia, a staff sargent in the National Guard who refused to return to Iraq after a 2-week furlough. He turned himself in a year later, alleged that he was being forced to commit war crimes, and filed for conscientious objector status, which was denied. He was court martialed, and was sentenced to a year in military prison. During his incarceration, he was recongized by Amnesty International, Peace Abby, and the city of Detroit.
Anyway, these stories have made me think a lot about deployment, and I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Certainly, when you sign on to a branch of the armed forces, you're consenting to be deployed at some point. But are there any circumstances in which American citizens should be allowed to revoke that consent?