I have been talking with state legislators about an issue near and dear to my heart: the Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act. This law if enacted would conform Wisconsin law to the Uniform Law Commission model as it relates to placement of children when a parent or guardian is called to active military duty. Specifically, the law would allow a court to grant care-taking authority to a non- parent, such as a stepparent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or cousin if the court determines that is in the best interest of the child.

Rep. Don Vruwink was an early supporter of this bill when I contacted him last May. In getting to know Rep. Vruwink, I learned he has been a leader in introducing bills to help veterans. One bill would waive the driver’s license fee for disabled veterans. Another bill would allow a court to consider military-related post-traumatic stress disorder as a mitigating factor.

Last winter, Rep. Vruwink attended the housewarming for disabled vet whose new home was built by a group called Homes for Our Troops. He spoke at the Whitewater Memorial Day observation in May, and he was a leader in the effort to build Milton’s veterans memorial.

When the Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act is introduced in the coming legislative session, I know I can count on Rep. Vruwink’s support.

KIMBERELY GRAFF

President and founder of Protecting Military Families in Wisconsin

Milton

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