Two nationally syndicated news shows - one radio, one television - are working on stories about Army National Guard Spc. Joe McNeilly of Grand Ledge.This is a disgrace. McNeilly served his country honorably, and now the family court wants to punish him and his son for it. If anything, the mother is in the wrong for demonizing the dad's military service, and opportunistically using the service to move away and get more support payments.
McNeilly says he lost custody of his 10-year-old son, Joey, because of his service in Iraq. ...
McNeilly, 33, returned in March after serving 15 months in Iraq. He agreed to give his ex-girlfriend Holly Erb of Mason temporary full custody while he was deployed.
A custody order said the issue would be revisited when McNeilly returned from Iraq, but a court referee in May recommended against restoring shared custody.
The referee's report said the court favored Erb because she was the "day-to-day caretaker and decision maker in the child's life" while McNeilly was deployed.
The court also said that Erb had established a custodial environment for Joey while McNeilly was deployed.
Erb's lawyer, Theresa Sheets of Lansing, has said Erb is concerned that McNeilly is not a fit father. Sheets pointed to some postcards that McNeilly sent his son from Iraq depicting soldiers in training. She said they frightened the boy.
Neither Erb nor Sheets returned messages for comment Wednesday.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Soldier gets punished by family court