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With Husband Jailed, How Will I Feed My Kids?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My husband has been in the Army almost 10 years with three overseas tours. He was moderately to severely wounded each time.

He has been in pretrial confinement since Nov. 5, 2014. The charges are verbal threat to a specialist and larceny.

My husband is still in confinement in a state jail with maximum security. He is being beaten by civilian inmates. The military has cut his pay and all his allowances.

From my understanding and research, he is still supposed to receive his pay and all allowances until he has been to trial and found guilty, and pay still doesn't get cut until 14 days after trial.

How am I supposed to feed my children and pay bills? He has not been to trial nor has he been convicted of anything. I have not received any help nor has anyone reached out to me to see about my children or to provide me with any updates about the situation.

I tried getting help and talking to his chain of command, but I just get the cold shoulder. One major in his unit told me he knew very little about his confinement and he can't tell me much. He told me to talk to the court system in Clarksville, Tennessee, since that's where my husband is.

I tried talking with the IG here, and they sent me to an IG at Fort Bragg. He said he couldn't tell exactly what's going on.

I hired a civilian lawyer, and he said has never seen someone locked up for these charges, let alone this long in the type of environment he is in. I don't understand why we are being treated like this. What else can I do? Please help!

Sincerely,
Stressed and Confused

Dear Stressed,

I am very sorry to hear about all of this. You must feel that you and your children are being punished too.

I think you understand that your husband's command probably won't talk to you because it's a pending legal matter.

Your husband should have representation at this point. If not, he needs legal representation. The attorney you hired should be able to tell you exactly what is going on with your husband's case and his pay.

I know this is very frightening. You must feel like your life is crumbling apart and you are powerless. When a situation like this happens, many spouses feel like they are being ostracized by others in the military community. I do hope you have friends who can be supportive to you during this difficult time.

I recommend two things: First, get with your attorney and make sure you know the whole story of what happened with your husband. It's not uncommon for the spouse to be in the dark about entire situation.

You should also tell your husband's attorney that he is being beaten up and threatened in jail. That shouldn't be happening to anyone.

You need to find out exactly what is going on with your husband's pay. If there is a forfeiture of pay, you need to know how much and for how long.

Second, please don't be embarrassed to reach out to family and friends right now for support. You will need them. I am very concerned about you and your family. I know you support your husband and you can only think of the years he has devoted to serving his country and his deployments. I hope everything will work out in your favor. Keep me informed.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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