“They made a choice – they said, ‘I know that this might happen to me.’ What we really hope is that you will help us to help these people when they get home.”
So said Anna Schleelein Richardson of veterans and the sacrifice they make by enlisting in the armed services, knowing the risk of physical injury or emotional distress. At a brown bag program last week aimed at training attorneys on providing legal assistance to veterans in family law cases, Richardson reminded attendees that this is the longest period of time in history that the U.S. has been at war.
Some of the clients she has seen at Veterans Legal Services never expected to go to war at all when they signed up to join the Coast Guard, or they planned to commit to just one tour in Iraq when they ended up serving two or three. Many of these soldiers come back with issues that lead to a need for legal assistance in family law cases, she said.
Later on in the week, veterans and lawyers who have represented veterans came to discuss their experience firsthand. The BBA hosted its second Meet and Greet Luncheon for veterans in the legal community and their families.
Several branches of the military were represented, and attendees had the chance to talk about their shared experiences. Attorneys who frequently represent veterans were also in attendance.
If you are interested in representing veterans, we are holding a Pro Bono training on discharge upgrades on May 18.