Lisa Pagan, mommy hero

Big Mother Load ups this morning to Lisa Pagan of Charlotte, North Carolina. When the Army turned a deaf ear to her repeated appeals that, if called back to active duty, there would be no one to care for her children, she simply showed up to Fort Benning with 5-year-old Elizabeth and 3-year-old Eric in tow.

The mommy in me loves this picture. Since we all suffer looks of disgust, or even panic, when we dare to board an airplane, enter a store, or visit a restaurant nicer than McDonald’s with children in tow, I am enjoying imagining the look on the drill sargeant’s face when Ms. Pagan showed up with two children, probably cranky from their long trip, asking when they were going to get to go home and watch Yo Gabba Gabba, and oh by the way they were sooo hungry. Our soldiers face down intimidating enemies every day, but they must have been entirely unnerved by a 3 year old with a runny nose who got up too early that morning. And as we all know, they had good reason to be scared.

And so Ms. Pagan was quickly offered a discharge, either an honorable one or a “general discharge under honorable conditions,” which sounds good enough to me. Well played, Ms. Pagan!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

White Crayon Mom March 4, 2009 at 1:33 pm

This is great news! I saw this story pop up on MSNBC over the weekend and I was a little worried about what might happen. I think that she dragged her story out under the media spotlight was a key reason for this happy outcome.

We should pause for a moment and remember that there are still thousands of mothers serving overseas, who have had to leave their children. It is a conflicting feeling — wonderful, deserved and overdue that women/mothers have been able to enter nearly every career under the sun, but also sad that families must be separated from one another and put their lives at risk. God bless them all!

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Celeste April 30, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Hi! Just cruising through your site after enjoying your CNN article. Btw, I am horrified by how many people reacted to it with negativity. Since when is expressing your feelings a crime? As a mommy of one wonderful boy who is expecting a baby girl any moment now, I totally understand your perspective.

But sorry for digressing–I wanted to comment on this post! I have to tell you, every time I hear about mommies being shipped overseas, I get teary-eyed. It’s so so sad to me. I am having a hard time just accepting the fact that I will soon be away from my 3 yr old for 2 whole days–I can’t imagine what the separation must be like for those mommas and their children. Right now, I know a mom who was away in the military away for only 6 months, and she is having serious bonding issues with her youngest child. And we’re talking about 2 months after returning home–we just don’t know how these extended separations really affect their little psyches over the long term.

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HReneeH May 1, 2009 at 11:26 am

Having been a Mommy in the Army and still an Army wife I know how difficult it is to leave your children. Being recalled to active duty is a tough one. And no a General discharge is NOT a good one. She will lose all her GI Benefits here hoping she has good TDS (Trial Defense Counsel) who will ensure it is an Honorable discharge.

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Ashley May 1, 2009 at 2:16 pm

She chose to join the military, and she also chose to have children, she made a commitment to the military first, every soldier knows that. It is unfortunate that they wanted to deploy her and she had no one to take care of her children, but you are supposed to have a family plan while in the military, so that this situation doesn’t happen. You make a career choice when joining the military, and they don’t hide what is required of you. There is a reason soldiers sign on for a certain amount of time, and its not fair to her platoon that she is able to leave and they are now faced with a new member who has to get up to speed on their mission and training in a short period of time.

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Dew June 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm

I’m surprised to discover that I couldn’t disagree with you more on this. As a soldier, Ms. Pagan has responsibilities to her unit and her division, etc., that pre-dated her commitment to motherhood and good parenting. While I empathize with her childcare predicament, there are thousands of other parents facing the same challenge, who’ve made it work. Her taking it public and getting a general discharge were the worst ways to handle a bad situation, not least because it sets back the cause of equality in the military who-knows how long.

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Anonymous July 14, 2009 at 1:43 am

Well thats not all for Lisa Pagan. Her husband got arrested around Richmond Virginia for flashing a pizza delivery woman at a hotel . He later found some black guy on craigslist to rape Lisa . The guy was let in and he had a knife and forced Lisa for fellate him and then he had sex with her. Travis her husband just watched. That was some kind of fantasy for him meanwhile both he and the rapist are behind bars. When it rains in Lisa Pagan`s life it pours.

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