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Sunday, 22 April 2007

Soldier forced to leave dying mother for war

A Decatur soldier with five months left on his enlistment tried unsuccessfully to get an extension on his two-week leave to stay with his dying mother, who is hospitalized on life support.

Sgt. Tim Robinson requested another week in a letter faxed to his unit explaining that his mother, Kate Mae Jones, was dying of kidney and heart failure. His request included a note from his mother's doctor concerning her condition, but his commanding officer denied the extension.

As his scheduled Tuesday departure neared, he went to Redstone Arsenal to get help from the Judge Advocate General Corps but was told he had to go through the American Red Cross first. Without time to go through the proper channels, he left to return to his unit.

"It's either that or get arrested, and I don't want that, " said Robinson, 39. "I don't want to put any more stress on Mom."