Andrea Gracia joined the Army to follow her dream of studying medicine approximately one year ago. She felt the experience and education would help her provide a better life for her and her two daughters. She graduated as a combat medic and is stationed in the state of Washington with her current husband but only with one of her daughters. The oldest daughter, who is 5-years-old, was taken away from her.
This isn’t the typical scenario where a mother loses custody of her child from abuse or neglect. This mother lost custody solely because she is serving her country in the Army which will force her to relocate frequently (she enlisted in the Army after her divorce). Her ex-husband won custody of the 5-year-old daughter in court on the basis that the mother will travel frequently due to military obligations. It is believed the judge felt the daughter would be better off staying in one location.
Albeit, the conundrum is that the father allegedly has a criminal background and is presently on probation. Therefore, the presiding judge chose to give the ex-husband, who is currently on probation, custody of the child instead of the mother, who may travel frequently.
Her only recourse is to appeal the ruling. Regrettably, her pay from the Army does not suffice the required monetary amount, which her lawyer told her would cost an additional $10,000. Since she cannot afford to continue the case to get custody of her daughter, her sister, Ali has set up a fundraiser at “gofundme” to help pay the lawyer.