Kid_and_dad_1 

Want to make a difference? If not you than someone you know can help this “Army Joe”out! One person can make a difference. If you know a lawyer, friend, millionaire that can contribute, send them a link to this story. What’s the worse they can do??? Say no?? One team one fight!!!

I got your back “joe”

Capt B, lighting up!

(ORIGINAL STORY ON ANYMARINE.COM)

Can you imagine this… a young soldier… (and a purple heart recipient) is called upon to serve his country.. twice… leaving behind a young wife and his children. While in Iraq, he hears of abuse allegations and he expresses his wishes and fears to social workers after his 9 year old daughter was hospitalized, only to be told he has no parental say so because he is not in this country, but told that "the wife is the custodial parent…. she is here" and he is expected to carry out his dangerous missions as he is wondering who is helping to protect his own children back home.

He returns from serving his country as soon as he can, and decides that he can’t be the kind of father, a single parent,… that his children need if he were to remain in the military, so he gives up his 8 year career to go on unemployment and finally is able to find an $ 8.00 an hour job because the employers with higher paying jobs tell him that he is exactly what they look for and need, but it would be to costly to train him, especially when there are other applicants who are already trained in that field.

He tries to rent a home for them, but he is told he has too many people to live in their small house, or that he doesn’t make enough money and that they have to look out for their own best interest.

He also tries to file for divorce and is told he can’t do that either because you have to be a resident for 6 months and he had been gone for a year…. remind you again, doing what was asked of him, while serving his country. In the meantime, the wife files, and is then granted a divorce in Louisiana, yes, she filed first, he filed when he was finally allowed and he has never been served with any papers, notices or been notified of any hearings and yet, she is given her divorce and also custody of their children.

While all of this is going on, and over a year ago, the children are placed in the paternal grandmother’s custody … in Ohio and after the abuse allegations. The mother files for divorce and she receives free legal aid in both Ohio (which is where the soldier is from) and Louisiana (which is where the mother lived as a child). The soldier ends up having to pay thousands to be represented and is never even given a chance to give his side of the story to a judge. He and his children were never given the chance to speak to a judge in over a year of hearings.

On July 28th, his wife came to Ohio for a hearing, prepared to take her children home. The case was rescheduled for the next Monday. Again they never saw a judge, only a magistrate. It was an ugly scene at the courthouse in Ohio when the children learned they were going back with their mother, they were never going to be able to talk to the judge and explain why they are so frightened and what happened to them while in their mother’s care… even though they tried on several occasions, they would just be expected to go with their mother and her live in boyfriend and go through even more abuse.

The now 10 year old screamed to please not make her go, don’t let her sister and brother go. She is hysterical and cries that her mother said she would hurt her real bad if she told and now she would beat her again. Again nobody would listen to this child screaming for help. Instead she and her family were told that they had to leave, they were making a scene.

We are told it was because Ohio didn’t have the jurisdiction over this soldier’s children, this is also why they couldn’t be appointed a guardian ad lidem. (If the state of Ohio didn’t have jurisdiction over the children, then how could they grant the grandmother custody in the first place and then take it away?) They say because the kids hadn’t lived here for 6 months before they were placed in their grandmother’s custody, and only had been visiting for 3 months. Their father came to be with them as soon as he had chaptered out of the military. They attended school here for over a year and were doing great, they were involved in Girl Scouts and sports programs. They were happy and enjoying just being able to be kids.

This young man has paid every cent he has and then some to the attorneys here and in Louisiana, while trying to provide for his children since becoming a civilian. It has been very difficult and he is too proud to ask for your help, but we will. HE NEEDS YOU to now step up and help him defend and protect his own children. The funds collected will be used for helping him with the traveling expenses while he goes to Louisiana for court hearings and to see his kids, the attorney and legal fees, court costs, and the expenses of deposits and rents needed in getting them into their home. They have been staying with family. He does have a hearing date scheduled for the end of October/2006 in Louisiana.

There has been an account set up for this family in the name of V.O.I.C.E.S.; at Farmer’s National Bank; 2910 Youngstown-Warren Rd.; Warren, OH 44484.

Anything at all that you can do would be greatly appreciated, it doesn’t have to be much, and if you can’t, that is also understood… maybe just sending a letter to show your support to V.O.I.C.E.S., Fluharty Family Support Benefit Fund, P.O. BOX 245, Newton Falls, Ohio 44444-0245. Maybe you can forward this or give this request to others who you think would be able to and willing to help.

Let’s show this veteran soldier that, as Americans, we will stand up with him as he fights for his own children and let him know we do appreciate the sacrifices they have all made. Lets help his children make their V.O.I.C.E.S. heard and help their father in his fight to give them what they need and deserve. These are the Voices Of Innocent Children Ending Silence!,…their own silence!

It is terribly wrong what has happened to this family… we also ask that you please write your Congressmen and Legislators (Contacting the Congress) and ask them to help change the laws that make it possible to have our military men and women treated this way. There are many who have been going through similar situations and injustices since returning from serving their country. We owe them more than that!

As one police officer who couldn’t believe this was happening to them has said " What a way for us to say ‘thank you’ for serving our country!"

We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for doing whatever you can, if you want verification that this is actually a true problem and not a scam, please contact gto417@aol.com and she will send you where you can find legal documentation on this or click HERE and HERE.

Sincerely,
The Friends and Family of the Fluharty Family

(Note that this happens to be an ANYSOLDIER.COM contact SSG Bryan Fluharty)

Comments

  1. Thank you for posting the story on your blog as well. It’s kind of personal to me since SSG Fluharty was one of my first AS contact that I mailed care packages to.
    I hope that many would contribute to his cause.

  2. Hi Agnieszka! *waving* I shoulda known I’d run into you on this one.:)
    Thanks for posting this Capt. I never got to “know” Brian but he was also one that I sent some things to. NONE of our service members should have to come home to this kind of thing, but this isn’t the first time. Some serious changes need occur.

  3. I never sent anything to him, but will now. Isn’t there some kind of organization that helps out with something like this?

  4. I wish I went to the law school. Wouldn’t be nice to provide assistance like that for free?
    *waving back* Mrs.Diva.

  5. You should contact Soldiers’ Angels, Adopt-a-Platoon (who has a founding member in NE Ohio) and Defend the Defenders. They should all be able to help or put you in contact with someone who can. I will also do what I can to help out as well!
    Thanks Capt B., for bringing this to our attention!

  6. This kind of thing just makes my blood boil. It takes me back to bad memories of a very frustrating time of life.
    I went through a divorce myself where there was a child custody issue. Unlike SSG Fluharty, I had optimal circumstances. I initiated the divorce. There were no “jurisdiction” issues. I had relatively strong evidence to neglect on the part of the “biological” mother. However, it still took 4 years of tooth and nail infighting that was damaging to all parties involved before I was awarded “primary custody” of my daughter. Every last dime I had went to attorney’s fees and medical fees. Why medical fees? Because I had to prove that the fact my daughter had consistently lost 9 to 12% of her body mass with each mandatory 4 months out of state shared custody trip with her “mother,” during an age when normalcy would dictate a 10 to 15% increase, was not due to some congenital medical condition. I even had to sustain the loss of support of other family members who gave up and demanded I do the same. What was the straw that finally broke the will of the court appointed child custody case worker? My daughter reaching an age where she was able to describe a “masturbation event” on the part of one of her “mothers” boyfriends. And even after that, I was awarded only “primary” custody, not “legal” custody.
    I know quit well what SST Fluharty must feel in his heart. How he must live with constant anxiety. Thank God he is a Marine. He already knows what it means to push beyond the normal limits of human endurance to achieve a worthy goal. I wish I had words of comfort to give him, but there are none that I can think of. He has nothing to look forward too but full pitched ruthless battle. The only exhortation I have for him is simple: do not give up, keep your cause righteous, do all in the name of love for your children, and do not succumb to being motivated by spite. You are in my prayers.

  7. Hey Capt B –
    When I read this story on the AnySoldier web site, I immediately knew that you would pick up the torch and run with it for SSG Fluharty because that’s just how you are. How the hell does this stuff happen???? It’s mind-boggling but I have faith that the “tons of good folks” out there will come to his rescue and help him. Thanks and have a GREAT Day.
    ~Schizzil~

  8. This is outrageous and a grave injustice has been done.
    Thank you for telling us about the SSGT,’s case.
    We must do all we can to ensure that the rights of our Warriors are maintained.
    These crazy laws must be changed!

  9. Combat Vet Battling on the Homefront

    From Major Pain at Black5 we learn about a Soldier, a combat veteran who faces an even tougher battle now that hes back home.
    It seems that while SSG Bryan Fluharty was deployed to Iraq his children were struggling to survive in an abusive home…

  10. I’m so glad that you have posted this. my husband is serving as a Marine in Iraq right now and he’s ex girlfriend is trying to get him to sign over his rights all because he’s in the military and we live out of state!!

  11. Hi Capt B. I work for the United Way in Buffalo & I’ve been keeping up on this story thanks to your posts. I wanted to suggest that the family call their local United Way. We’re a wealth of knowledge and can get him hooked up with a number of programs to help with everything from rent to Christmas toys to legal help. Hope this helps and best to the family!!!

  12. It is terribly wrong what has happened to this family… we also ask that you please write your Congressmen and Legislators (Contacting the Congress) and ask them to help change the laws that make it

  13. I’m so glad that you have posted this. my husband is serving as a Marine in Iraq right now and he’s ex girlfriend is trying to get him to sign over his rights all because he’s in the military and we live out of state!!…

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