Faces From the Front for February 22, 2010 - Sgt. Frances Hutton
Current Unit: 1st Theater Sustainment Command
Current Position: Administrative Noncommissioned Officer
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
Hometown: Lane, S.C.
Years of Service: 3
Following in the footsteps of her son, Sgt. Frances Hutton joined the Army in 2006 just weeks after her son enlisted. Hutton reported to basic training in Fort Jackson, S.C. the day her son, Charles Neal, graduated from his own basic training at Fort Benning, Ga.
“I had always wanted to join the military and serve my country, but as a single mother I had no one to care for my children. When they were old enough for me to go, I was over the age limit so I waited until they increased the enlistment age. At age 40, my son and I enlisted together,” she said.
Just as she relied on his letters from basic training to prepare for her own training, she used his experiences in theater to help prepare for her own deployment. When Hutton was preparing to deploy to Kuwait last June, her son returned from a 15-month deployment in Iraq.
Hutton currently serves as an administrative Noncommissioned Officer with the 1st Theater Sustainment Command at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, where she is responsible for the coordination of human resources operations including postal operations, casualty reporting and personnel accountability.
Despite the distance sustained during the deployments, the mother of two says her time overseas has increased their bond as a family.
“My role as a mother has only been enhanced during this deployment; it has shown me I can still be there even though I am half a world away,” she said. “It’s been hard being away so long as I am close to both my children, and close to many of my coworkers, but we remedy this with frequent letters and phone calls.”
Hutton is scheduled to return to the U.S. this summer, where she plans to spend time with her family and return to her civilian occupation as a medic with the Williamsburg County EMS and Berkley County EMS. She is also working to obtain a bachelors degree in nursing. Returning from his deployment last summer, Neal, also a sergeant, serves on active duty at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Hutton’s daughter, Cynthia Hutton-Tyler, lives in Charleston, S.C., with her husband and three sons.