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February 19, 2004

An Interesting Update About AWOL Mom

Remember Simone Holcomb, the AWOL mom who chose to stay behind to raise her children rather than return to duty in Iraq? She would have lost custody of two of her children if she had returned to Iraq?

The problem was that she was really the step-mother of two of those seven children. She helped her husband win custody in a three year contested custody case. I wrote at length about this in an earlier post.

Well.... I recently was contacted by bio-mom, Debbi Piland. Here is the first e-mail I had received from her. She sent me several.


Trish,
I just ran across your article while trying to pull up all the articlessimone badmouthed me in the media. My name is Debbi Piland (Just got married in november) and I am the biological mother of dustin and taylor holcomb. Your article was pretty accurate. Simone filed paperwork in her handwriting to take my kids away right after they got married. Simone has 2 felonies in the state of Idaho for forgery..Vaughn has a record for mild abuse for beating my daughter last year...The parenting coordinator said that I lost custody because I was too poor to afford a lawyer.Now the newest twist is that vaughn and simone want to move to tennessee to take my kids away from me. But if the state of colorado will acutally let them remains to be seen. I never filed paperwork to get custody while simone and vaughn was gone. she had to make up some lie to justify her going AWOL. and no one looked into it. She is just a coward and she said in court that she wasnt going back no matter what. The judge NEVER ordered her to stay..Vaughn got 4,200 from the army the whole time he was gone and didnt pay me one cent of child support. Vaughns mother had VISITATION 2 x a week, not custody... The whole thing was a fabrication to make a very disturbed woman look like a hero. I'm glad that you could see through her....
Debbi Piland

Piland directed me to an interesting article that did not get much attention from the media. Piland and her ex-husband had joint custody. They agreed "in August 2002 he would get custody of the children except for three weekends a month and four weeks in the summer, when Piland would have custody."

This is yet another case that shows that joint custody doesn't work.

An important point brought out in this article is that Judge David Miller - a retired air force lawyer - " did not order Simone Holcomb to defy the Army's deployment orders or risk losing custody, as some media accounts have suggested."

So Simone Holcomb had been lying to the press that she risked losing custody if she returned to Iraq. Miller gave Simone Holcomb (and her husband, the children's father) custody to "stabilize the children."

Per my previous post, the children have certainly not been stablized. One of them threw temper tantrums at school. The older son was getting poor grades in school. They wrote letters saying "Please don't die". They are having nightmares and they are wetting the bed. Did you know that the 11 year old told a teacher that "my family is falling apart?" Simone Holcomb said they were "acting out."

Of course they were. They were caught in the middle of an ugly custody battle started by Simone and Vaughn Holcomb. The Holcombs had been married for only three years. The custody battle lasted three years. That battle took up most of their married life.

There are other details about this case that I will post about as soon as I obtain the relevant paperwork. Apparently, Piland and Vaughn Holcomb still have joint custody. I also don't think it's out of the court room yet.



Posted on February 19, 2004 at 06:08 PM | Permalink

Comments

Velly Intellesting.....

Did the wench Simone ever go back to her station? She was on the Today show, I was of the opinion she was the stepmom then, but of course, figured that everything wasn't on the up and up. Too many FR buzzwords.....

Piland should hire You, O Great Sniffer-Outer of All Things FR........

Posted by: Moi ;) at Feb 21, 2004 6:12:37 PM

You have got to be kidding me! It just goes to show that you cannot believe anything you read. I personally know Vaughn Holcomb and Deborah Piland. I knew them when they were married. Debbie left Vaughn and abandoned her children. She didn't even contact her children for six months after she left.
I had to laugh when I read "They agreed "in August 2002 he would get custody of the children except for three weekends a month and four weeks in the summer, when Piland would have custody." Debbie agreed because she was facing criminal charges of kidnapping for taking the children out of the state to her parents house in Washington.
I hope there is no one out there that actually feels sorry for Debbie. She is a very unstable person. She is not mother material and that is why the courts have given Vaughn all decision making responsibiity when it comes to his children.
Vaughn Holcomb is the most upstanding, decent man that I have ever known. His wife (Debbie) left him and he kept it together for his children. He was a single father in the Army and his mother, Sue, was there to care for the children when the Army took him away from them. Dustin and Taylor are best served remaining with their father. I agree that they should have contact with their mother, but I would be horrified to think that Debbie could be allowed to damage those children any further by obtaining custody. Debbie had a lawyer, he quit her when he found out she was lying to him. Debbie lost all rights to her children and all rights to any sympathy when she walked out on her family.
Vaughn Holcomb served his country in two wars. He is an excellent father and has never beat his daughter. He spanked his daughter and there was a court order that there would be no corporal punishment, that was the extent of his "record". This man deserves a medal for his service to his country and his dedication to his children. I have never met a man who was more decent, kind, or compassionate.
I was also there when he left for Iraq. His mother came to take care of the children. She lived on post (as I do) and she cared for six children, four of which were not her biological grandchildren. I saw the court order that she would have joint custody of Dustin and Taylor with Debbie while Vaughn was in Iraq. She had Dustin and Taylor two full days a week and they were there after school every day until their mother or her boyfriend came to pick them up. They had dinner with her almost every night. She took those children somewhere every week to keep their minds off of the war, all the while dealing with the fact that her only son was at war getting shot at every day.
I was in the court room, I testified on Vaughn's behalf. I know the whole story.
I don't care what any one says about Simone Holcomb. I don't care what anyone says about Debbie Piland.
But I will defend Vaughn Holcomb to anyone anytime. He is like my brother and I even call his mother, Sue, Mom. Mom called me today upset at what she discovered on this website.
Let me tell you a little about Sue Bearer. She is the definition of strength. She has survived cancer. She has survived her son in Desert Storm. She has survived her son in Iraqi Freedom. She has survived being without her husband so she could take care of six children in Colorado. Her home is in Ohio but she came to Fort Carson so those children could have stability.
So, how dare anyone post anything against this family? Shame on you and shame on anyone else who dares voice an opinion on what they know nothing about. I have been here for these past nine years and I can tell you that Vaughn deserves better!

Posted by: Tamara at Mar 31, 2004 9:29:20 PM

Tamara writes:

"Debbie left Vaughn and abandoned her children. She didn't even contact her children for six months after she left..."

But regarding the mother's getting three weekends a month custody, Tamara writes that Debbie only agreed to this "because she was facing criminal charges of kidnapping for taking the children out of the state to her parents house in Washington."

Does this sound like the woman "abandoned" her children? Or is too "unstable" to have custody and care of them?

Tamara also writes:

"He is an excellent father and has never beat his daughter. He spanked his daughter and there was a court order that there would be no corporal punishment, that was the extent of his 'record'."

A father, a grown man who is a professional soldier. And a little girl. Do "excellent" fathers generally have to be reminded by courts of law to remember not to be physically abusive to children?

Tamara, court witness and outraged dear friend of the family, offers us her best facts in support of her opinion: a mother who is a criminal because she took her children to visit their grandmother, and a father who is a wonderful because he is off halfway around the world a lot fighting wars, and when he's home, he hits his own kids and files criminal charges against their mother. And lots of utterly irrelevant blather about the paternal grandmotherm who she calls "Mom."

Gee, how could we possibly doubt such unerringly logical and unbiased testimony.

Shame on you and your website, Trish. :-)

liz

http://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/

Posted by: liz at Apr 1, 2004 12:26:28 AM

Hmmm... interesting. I received an e-mail from someone familiar with the Holcombs (not the grandmother) a couple of hours before these comments appeared on my blog. I do not think that was an accident. Word was obviously passed around.

I wondered too, as did Liz, about an "unstable" woman who is "not mother material" who "abandons" her children yet gets three weekends of custody each month. Mom takes the kids to visit their grandparents, and that makes her a criminal? Courts don't make orders about not engaging in corporal punishment for "spanking."

Why, all of a sudden, do I find what amounts to character witness testimony by a former character witness for Vaughn Holcomb on my little blog? My blog isn't exactly the New York Times. The story has been out of the news for quite some time. Makes me wonder what else is going on...

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Apr 1, 2004 10:00:49 AM