On this Memorial Day, I hope every member of the American Bar Association will consider how to assist and support our nation’s veterans. For more than 200 years, men and women in our country have died for our constitutionally protected freedom. In return, we can demonstrate our gratitude by doing what we, as lawyers, do so well — giving back to our communities.
Volunteerism takes many forms, and the needs are many. There are a number of existing programs serving veterans and their families where pro bono service can truly make an impact. For information about opportunities throughout the country, visit our Web page atwww.americanbar.org/veterans. This comprehensive list captures bar programs, legal aid and others to apply your skills to help veterans overcome the challenges they face.
If programs near you do not offer services within your expertise, there are other ways to make a difference. Many organizations can match you to volunteer opportunities in your community. The Department of Veterans Affairs has resources on volunteering at www.volunteer.va.gov. Programs include planning welcome-home events for returning soldiers through the president’s United We Serve (www.serve.gov) or assisting homeless veterans at a Stand Down event (www.nchv.org/standdown.cfm). Your local veterans’ service organizations have excellent resources as well.
These programs exist because men and women like you commit yourselves to volunteerism all year long. We know of your tireless efforts because the Obama administration, members of Congress and the veteran community tell us of your outstanding service. Thank you.
This year, on behalf of the ABA, I have had the privilege of visiting four of our service academies: the United States Military Academy (Army), the United States Naval Academy (Navy and Marines), the United States Air Force Academy and the United States Coast Guard Academy, to demonstrate the ABA’s ongoing commitment to our military.
God bless those in our military who throughout our history have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and pass on to us the freedom in America we are blessed to enjoy today. Upward and onward for our military and their families.