Single Mom Protests Dismissal from Air Force

Rebecca Edmonds, a Wisconsin woman who was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force after receiving an ROTC scholarship to Marquette University, is challenging the military’s decision to dismiss her and revoke her scholarship following the discovery, just before her commissioning, that she was pregnant.  The Air Force has a policy forbidding single parents from enlisting or becoming commissioned officers.  From CNN:

The reason for the policy, according to Air Force officials, is that the demands of deployment and military service put strain on family life and even more so for single parents.

The Air Force accused Edmonds of committing fraud, ejected her from its ranks and revoked her $92,000 scholarship. Her case is currently under review.

Edmonds’ mother, Karen, a military wife for 25 years, said deployments are tough on all service members and their families, married or not. If her daughter were to deploy, Karen Edmonds said, her grandson would be well cared for by an extended family that includes the child’s father and both sets of grandparents.

Edmonds’ mother said she believes the policy discriminates against single women and encourages pregnant single women to abort their pregnancies.

“The Air Force is making an assumption that single parents cannot provide adequately for their children if deployed,” Edmonds’ mother said. “That’s what burns me up.”

Image: Air Force uniform, via Shutterstock

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  1. [...] Single mom protests dismissal from the Air Force (Parents.com) [...]

  2. by Janie

    On October 26, 2012 at 11:43 am

    EVERY single person – male or female – who enlists is told from the beginning that IF you have children and are not married then you MUST sign away custody of your kids. It is the same whether you are man or women and the same for all branches of the military.

    This woman KNEW she was pregnant and LIED by ommission to her CO. She KNEW there were rules in place about single parents being commissioned officers but decided the rules should not have to apply to her.

    She is now claiming that her “religious beliefs” prevented her from terminating her pregnancy, but did not prevent her from having sex and a child outside of marriage. Rrrriiiiiggghhht. Sorry sweetie but you DON’T get to chose which bits of your religion you like and which bits you can ignore.

    If having a child while serving in the military is so important to her, all she had to do is GET MARRIED. If she decided she doesn’t want to get married, then her second option is to sign temporary custody to whomever she chooses.

    Sympathy is the last thing this woman deserves.

  3. by Kristan Davies

    On October 26, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Of course you can’t provide for your child if you’re deployed. You’re not there. The idea that parents are just replaceable burns me up. Parents are not replaceable. The only place you are not replaceable is with your children. Everyone always wants to tell the rights of women. What about our children? What about protecting our children? What about providing emotional security for children? I find it interesting that the government seems to have more concerned than these women!

  4. by Kym J

    On October 29, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I spent 20 years on active duty, honorably; and for 12 of those years, I was a single parent, not by choice, but, by circumstances. He was deployed to Beirut, during my pregnancy, and we had little time to become married. When he returned for the birth, he and I had changed, but, attempted to stay together for our daughter. However, he had a “wandering eye, with a body that complied,” and I was under orders to California for training. After much consideration, I decided to take our daughter with me, and comence school. I had secured home childcare, with 24/7/365 childcare coverage, and set up an emergency travel fund, if the necessity arouse. I had given birth to my daughter and was advised. as to how my parenting MUST NOT impact my military duty. this was because another young mother, would continuously bring her child to work if she had no bad up plan or finances. So, I was senior, and had to teach her to lead by example. she had to learn or be discharged, since this became to be her general practice, so she was instructed under the single parent directive, that she will provide all the means neccessary, including rendering custody to another, or be discharged. she had been provided significant aupport to get it right. She was finally discharged, due to end of her initial contract, which was beneficial to her and the government. As for myself, there were only two times, my child impacted my service, when she got cchicken pox twoce, and I had a questionable immunity. since I worked in a hosoital setting, I could not work near pregnant women. So, home we went while we percolated chiken pox. It was a great time, playing and avoiding scrathing, together. We were both my Mom’s little girls, since she and Dad came to tend to us. When I was in school, it got rough trying to parent and keep a high GPA for choice orders. So, Mom came for one year. and cared for my child, even though she was in day school, she allowed me to study, later with other personnel, my GPA was 3.95, at graduation. I succeeded, Both, as a parent and a servicemember, because I took responsibility and accountability seriously, and knew all the risks, but my career came, first. To demean that this woman terminate before the birth, is a form of sexual harrassment; and to take action until the outcome of the pregnancy is a form of harrassment and reprisal. Accidental pregnancies do happen, because my daughter was no, however, it is how one handles tis event, that demonstrates leadership, committment, and responsibilty that Air Force is archaic with this stance. she is not the first candidate, nor will she be the last1 make a change Air Force, she only needed the Family Leave Act coverage, and most USAF bases are land-based, so she could have render custody, until training was done… Policy change USAF!!

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