January 1, 2002
Military and Veteran’s Committee Revived
The reconstituted Military and Veteran’s Affairs Committee held its inaugural meeting on January 3, 2002 at the Founders Room of the Nassau County Bar Association. As a result of the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, members of the Nassau County Bar Association identified as a critical need the providing of legal support to members of the armed forces who have been activated as well as providing continued support to those veterans who have previously served our country.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Hon. Stephen A. Bucaria and the Hon. Allen S. Mathers and was well attended by Nassau County attorneys, some of whom have had previous military experience and others who expressed a desire to devote their time to assisting active duty service members and veterans. At the meeting, an ambitious agenda of important initiatives was proposed.
Some of the initiatives proposed included the development of a CLE program to educate members of the bar about issues directly affecting active duty service members and veterans such as re-employment rights, rights under the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940 and numerous issues involving veteran’s benefits. Another initiative proposed concerned offering assistance for service members that are preparing for activation, by training members of the Military and Veteran’s Affairs Committee to assist in mobilizations of service members by providing legal services in the form of the preparation of wills, powers of attorney and offering other family assistance.
As a result of the continued draw down of active duty service members, there has been a significant reduction in the Judge Advocate Generals Corps. which has traditionally been the unit of the military which provided legal services to the active duty military. As a result of this reduction in the JAG Corp., the Committee will be seeking to identify military units stationed in and around Nassau County in an attempt to provide pro bono legal services to those units which may require the services of an attorney on short notice. The Committee hopes that it will be able to act as a liaison for local military units when individual service members require legal assistance relating to their mobilizations.
The Committee is actively seeking new members who are interested in devoting their time and participating in the assistance of active duty military service members, their families and veterans. The next meeting of the Committee will be held on January 30, 2002 at 5:30 p.m. at the Bar Association. Anyone interested in joining the Committee is encouraged to attend the meeting. For further information, please contact the Bar Association.