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“Serving Our Warriors” Reception and Fundraiser to Supporter Veterans & Service Members

Released 3/16/09 | Tags: Supporters

Awards Ceremony to Honor World War II veteran Senator Daniel Inouye and Vietnam veteran Tom Ridg


WASHINGTON – On March 18, veterans and service members will be honored for their dedication and military service in a “Serving Our Warriors” reception and fundraiser held by the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) at the offices of WilmerHale at 1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW at 6:00 p.m. Two pre-eminent veterans, who have long served our nation through public policy leadership will be honored during the event – World War II veteran Senator Daniel Inouye, and Vietnam veteran Governor Tom Ridge – and funds raised will support NVLSP and its efforts to provide legal representation to military service members and veterans, and to train lawyers and advocates to assist them. 

“Our nation owes a great debt to its veterans and military service men and women,” said Bart Stichman, co-executive director of NVLSP. “The least we can do is ensure that they receive the benefits and healthcare which they have earned and deserve – and we can do that by providing them with solid legal assistance.”

ABC News commentator George Stephanopoulos will be master of ceremonies for the March 18 reception. The reception will follow a training session where attorneys will receive information regarding service-related mental disorders, the VA’s Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) and several other recent legal developments.

A recipient of the Medal of Honor, Senator Inouye was part of the famed U.S. Army’s “Go For Broke” 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and an award named for him will be inaugurated during the reception. Senator Inouye distinguished himself in some of the bloodiest battles of World War II, including the epic rescue of “the lost battalion” recorded in U.S. Army annals as one of the most significant military battles of the century. He lost his arm to a rifle grenade at close range while leading his platoon to assault a heavily defended hill in Italy. Today, Senator Inouye is the third most senior member of the U.S. Senate, where he has played a key role in shaping defense policy for decades. Senator Inouye was the first Japanese-American in Congress and the first congressman from the new state of Hawaii.

Governor Tom Ridge will be honored with the Outstanding Public Service Award, which will be presented by U.S. Senator “Kit” Bond. Growing up the son of a Navy veteran, Governor Ridge attended Harvard University on scholarship and was drafted during his first year of law school to go to Vietnam. He served as an infantry staff sergeant, saw combat, and distinguished himself as a platoon leader. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star. Governor Ridge was the first enlisted Vietnam veteran to be elected to Congress in 1983, where he served for 12 years, before serving as governor of Pennsylvania from 1995-2001, and as the first Secretary of Homeland Security under U.S. President George W. Bush.

The tenacity, commitment to service, and bravery demonstrated by both Captain Inouye and Staff Sergeant Tom Ridge during their military careers have guided them into successful careers in public service. 

The Honorary Benefit Committee for the event includes: David F. Addlestone, U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, Samuel Bond, Jamie Gorelick, U.S. Representative John Hall, U.S. Senator John Kerry, Bobby Muller, Carter Phillips, General (retired) Colin L. Powell, Jan Scruggs, and David Westin. 

For additional information or to purchase a tickets for the reception, please visit the NVLSP website at: www.nvlsp.org

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) is an independent, nonprofit veteran’s service organization that has been serving active duty personnel and veterans since 1980. NVLSP strives to ensure that our nation honors its commitment to our 25 million veterans and active duty personnel by providing them the federal benefits they have earned through their service to our country.  NVLSP offers training for attorneys and advocates, connects veterans and active duty personnel with pro bono legal help, publishes the nation’s definitive guide on veteran’s 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, ami@steppingstonellc.com


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