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Soldier mother released from active duty

/ Source: The Associated Press

A soldier who refused to return to Iraq so she could care for her children has been released from active duty, the Army said Thursday.

Spc. Simone Holcomb, whose last day is Nov. 29, will return to duty as a medic in the Colorado National Guard the following day.

Holcomb, 30, and her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Vaughn Holcomb, 40, were sent to Iraq in February. Family members were caring for their seven children, but the couple returned on leave in September to settle a custody dispute involving Vaughn Holcomb’s ex-wife.

Simone Holcomb told a judge she would stay home with the children to resolve the dispute.

Her decision raised the possibility of criminal charges. Her commanders in Iraq also threatened to charge her with being absent without leave and give her a less-than-honorable discharge, which would have denied her benefits.

Lawyer Giorgio Ra’Shadd said Holcomb had wanted to be reassigned to Fort Carson to care for her children while fulfilling her active-duty commitment, which ends next April.

“She didn’t want to take the uniform off for one second, but that was the decision of the Army and she respects it,” he said. “That’s a result that she can live with.”

Army officials have said once Holcomb leaves active duty, she is no longer bound by military law and would not face charges from the Army.