Honorable discharge for mother
Los Angeles Times, 10 June 2007
A National Guard member charged
with desertion while fighting for custody of her 7-year-old daughter
has been granted an honorable discharge from the Army, her lawyer
New Hampshire Army National Guard Spc. Lisa Hayes learned of the
discharge Friday at Fort Dix, N.J., where she had surrendered
earlier in the week.
She and her daughter, Brystal, returned home to Rindge, N.H., early
Saturday, said her lawyer, Linda Theroux.
Hayes, 32, was serving her second tour of duty in Iraq when she
learned of possible domestic violence in the home of her ex-husband,
Tim Knight, who had primary custody of Brystal.
According to police and Hayes, Knight was a victim in one domestic
violence incident, and a second involved a fight between his mother
Hayes got emergency leave to go home and won temporary custody of
Brystal after a court hearing in late February.
Hayes' commander in Iraq extended her leave briefly three times, but
the last extension expired March 25. The soldier said she had no one
with whom to leave her daughter and was unable to get another leave
extension, a hardship discharge or a transfer to New Hampshire.
The Army declared her absent without leave on March 25 when she
failed to report for duty. Thirty days later, she was charged with
After her surrender at Fort Dix on Tuesday, Army lawyers helped her
refile for a hardship discharge, and it was granted within hours,
In the meantime, Knight had gone back to court Wednesday seeking
Brystal's return to his care. A custody hearing is scheduled for
Tuesday, Theroux said.