ILNews

Lawyers assist vets; benefit Feb. 29

Rebecca Berfanger
January 1, 2008
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Veterans of Valor, an organization to assist injured veterans and supported by a number of Indianapolis attorneys, will sponsor a fundraiser and open house Feb. 29 in Greenwood.

The event will feature a presentation of the organization's recently released Web site, www.veteransofvalor.org, as well as information about different ways to get involved.

The organization is seeking volunteers who can make a long-term commitment and those who only have enough time to help with short-term projects. Because the organization is relatively new, there are a number of issues where members of the legal community can assist, according to Hoover Hull attorney Patrick Olmstead, who has been working to get the organization off the ground.

Olmstead's neighbor, U.S. Marine Sgt. Klay South, was wounded in Fallujah, Iraq, and wanted to help fellow veterans. In a conversation on South's front lawn, Olmstead agreed to assist in any way he could with South's idea to start Veterans of Valor.

Olmstead, with the aid of Community Development Law Center attorneys in Indianapolis, set up Veterans of Valor as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Volunteers with the organization have traveled to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

While at the hospitals, Veterans of Valor volunteers distributed backpacks that are specially chosen to fit over wheelchairs. The backpacks contain personal entertainment devices such as iPods and hand-held video games, as well as breakaway pants that allow for easy care of leg wounds and amputations, shorts, T-shirts, and a pillow from the Patriotic Pillow Project.

South and Olmstead plan to take more trips to hospitals for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. They also anticipate a Veterans of Valor-produced DVD and other materials to ease the veterans' transitions back into their lives in the United States.

The Veterans of Valor event will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 29 at Knights of Columbus, 695 Pushville Road, Greenwood. Admission is free; donations will be accepted. A Lenten dinner of fish and chips will be available for $7.95 from 5 to 8 p.m., which includes soup, salad, and dessert. Knights of Columbus donated the space to Veterans of Valor for the event.

For more information about the fundraiser, contact Julia Olmstead, (317) 887-1942 or (317) 496-9891, or Jim Thomas at (317) 439-3512 or (317) 535-5632. More about the work of Veterans of Valor will be in a future edition of Indiana Lawyer.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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