Wanting to help provide for her family, Amanda Hurst joined the military in 2009. Hurst, along with her husband and two children, moved from Florida to New York before she was trained and deployed to Iraq.
While overseas, Hurts’s husband was responsible for the care of her children, then aged seven and eight. She was contacted shortly after arriving in Iraq and told that there was an emergency at home. Hurst took an emergency leave from her unit and traveled back to New York, where she learned that she needed to make alternate living arrangements for her children due to her husband having to spend time in jail.
With only two weeks away from her military service, she granted guardianship to her stepmother, who lived in Florida, of her two children. She continued to serve her country in Afghanistan and Iraq before being honorably discharged in 2013.
Her stepmother became estranged from the rest of the family while in charge or her two step-grandchildren and illegally moved them to New Jersey. Once they were in New Jersey, the two children developed emotional problems that were severe enough that the began to lash out. They were eventually removed from the home and put into foster care.
When Hurst returned, she found herself in a legal battle to get her children, now aged 13 and 14, back. The judge for the case has agreed that the children’s best place is with their mother. Both of the government departments in New Jersey and Florida are deciding what kind of care should be given to the children and when they should be returned home.
Despite all of the challenges, Hurst is hopeful that she will be reunited with her children within the next 30 days and they can begin the next chapter of their lives together.