Senate passes Gregg legislation inspired by AWOL mother

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The U.S. Senate has passed legislation introduced by New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg aimed at protecting military parents and their children.

Gregg’s legislation was inspired by last summer’s case involving New Hampshire National Guard Specialist Lisa Hayes.

The legislation would prevent custody agreements from changing while a parent is deployed. Single parents and families where both parents are in the military could request deferment if they do not have adequate care available for their children.

The language is included in the 2008 Defense conference report the Senate passed Friday. It now goes to the President’s desk.

Hayes was charged with desertion while fighting for custody of her 7-year-old daughter. She had been serving her second tour of duty in Iraq when she learned of possible domestic violence in the home of her ex-husband, who had primary custody of their child. She was eventually granted an honorable discharge

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