<\body> Stories in America: 16,000 Single Moms Serving in Iraq

Sunday, November 26, 2006

16,000 Single Moms Serving in Iraq

Click here to read this important story by the Washington Post's Donna St. George:
When war started in Iraq, a generation of U.S. women became involved as never before-- in a wider-than-ever array of jobs, for long deployments, in a conflict with daily bloodshed. More than 155,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among their ranks are more than 16,000 single mothers, according to the Pentagon, a number that military experts say is unprecedented.

How these women have coped and how their children are managing have gone little-noticed as the war stretches across a fourth year.

"It has to be one of the hardest things that a mom and her children have to go through," said Steven Mintz, a University of Houston professor with an expertise in family life. "You can't cuddle a young child over the phone, and you can't cuddle a child through e-mail."

In the military, parental status is not a barrier to serving in a war. All deploy when the call comes -- single mothers, single fathers, married couples -- relying on a "family-care plan" that designates a caregiver for children when parents are gone.

The thinking is that a soldier is a soldier. "Everyone trains to a standard of readiness and must be able to be mobilized," said Lt. Col. Mike Milord of the National Guard Bureau.


At 7/28/2007 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is our government that desperate that he would allow for parents to sacarfise their families to fight a WAR that we are not responsible for?? Who is responsible for these children when that parent loses their life in this WAR !!???

At 9/10/2007 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you ask the government that question, they will simply respond that it was the mother's choice to join, no one forced her, and that she should arrange for the care of her child in case she dies. I've been there and done that.....


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