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Delivering on our Promise: NVLSP Recognizes Congressman Jeff Miller for Advocacy

Released 11/24/15 | Tags: Supporters

National Veterans Legal Services Program Honors Attorney David Addlestone for Pioneering Work
Sidley Austin Recognized for Pro Bono Work, General Electric Receives Corporate Leadership Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 24, 2015

WASHINGTON – The 2015 Senator Daniel K. Inouye Award was presented to Congressman Jeff Miller by the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP). During the organization’s annual benefit reception. The award recognizes his advocacy and legislative work on behalf of our nation’s veterans and their families.

“I want to thank NVLSP for being such a strong ally in our fight to bring transparency and accountability to VA. Countless American veterans are better off today because of the hard work of NVLSP, however, there is much more work to be done. I know I can count on NVLSP’s support as we strive to reform VA into an organization truly worthy of the men and women it is charged with serving,” said Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Miller has been a key voice holding the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable for its actions during the ongoing VA scandal. He has sponsored important legislation, including the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act and the Veterans Affairs Retaliation Prevention Act.

The award was presented during NVLSP’s seventh annual benefit reception, which was themed “Delivering on our Promise.” The event raised more than $480,000 to support the work of NVLSP.

A video discussing NVLSP’s work to help our veterans was shown. A second video highlighting the cases of two veterans assisted by NVLSP, army veteran Eric Adams and navy veteran Twanya Brass, was also shown. Both were unfairly denied their medical retirement benefits and turned to NVLSP for help.

David Addlestone, co-founder of NVLSP, received the NVLSP Lifetime Achievement Award. An Air Force veteran, Addlestone began advocating for veterans and their legal rights during the Vietnam War. He served as a civilian lawyer in the war zone representing service members being court martialed or administratively discharged.

Addlestone championed the 600,000 Vietnam veterans given less than honorable discharges from military service, a stigma which sentenced them to under-employment and often a lifetime without VA benefits and healthcare. He led a national effort to train attorneys to help these veterans upgrade their discharges.

He represented Air Force Technical Sergeant David Matlovich, a decorated combat veteran, in a landmark 1970 federal lawsuit challenging the Air Force’s ability to discharge service members solely for being gay. Addlestone co-founded NVLSP in 1980 with Bart Stichman. He trained attorneys, encouraged Congress to update antiquated laws affecting legal aid for veterans and raised funds to support the fledgling organization.

The Pro Bono Partner Award was presented to Sidley Austin LLP, for its legal work assisting veterans. The firm has assisted veterans, service members and their families on more than 150 legal matters, donated more than 10,000 hours in pro-bono services, and been involved with NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors project since 2007.

General Electric received the Corporate Leadership Award, for its efforts helping veterans transition to new and promising careers. GE led the launch of the “Get Skills to Work” Coalition, which recruits, trains and places veterans in advanced manufacturing careers. They are also hiring veterans and supporting them through a robust veterans network. Nearly 1 in 13 employees in the United States within GE is a veteran.

Mike Holston, executive vice president and chief legal counsel for Merck, served as chair of the honorary committee that led fundraising efforts for this year’s reception.

Jeanne Meserve, former homeland security correspondent and anchor for CNN, served as the emcee for the reception, which was attended by more than 200 people.

Top sponsors for this year’s benefit reception:

Diamond level sponsor:  Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

Platinum sponsors: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Gold sponsors: Covington & Burling LLP, Hewlett-Packard Company, Hunton and Williams LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP, Merck, Reed Smith LLP

Silver sponsors: Arnold & Porter LLP, Baker & McKenzie LLP, Butler Snow LLP, Ford Motor Company, John and Corbin Harwood, King & Spalding LLP, Raytheon, Venable LLP, Verizon

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) is an independent, nonprofit veterans service organization that has served active duty military personnel and veterans since 1980. NVLSP strives to ensure that our nation honors its commitment to its 22 million veterans and active duty personnel by ensuring they have the federal benefits they have earned through their service to our country. NVSLP offers training for attorneys and other advocates, connects veterans and active duty personnel with pro bono legal help when seeking disability benefits, publishes the nation's definitive guide on veteran benefits, and represents and litigates for veterans and their families before the VA, military discharge review agencies and federal courts. For more information go to www.nvlsp.org.

Media contact: Ami Neiberger-Miller, 703-887-4877, ami@steppingstoneLLC.com


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