Texas veterans deserve fair access to legal help

Our veterans deserve more than just our applause or gratitude; they deserve our help and our commitment to ensuring that they have access to the resources they need to fully reintegrate into civilian life.

Op-Ed (Texas)

Nathan L. Hecht, Victor Flores
Austin American-Statesman
November 10, 2019

Tags: Veterans

Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF)


On Veterans Day, we honor the brave men and women in uniform for the sacrifices they’ve made and continue to make for our safety and freedom. Sadly, once back home, many of our veterans have a difficult time making ends meet. Many suffer from challenges such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can create difficulties finding and keeping a job. Another challenge veterans face is accessing the legal help they need.

Texas has the second-highest population of veterans in the country, and a distressing number of Texas veterans are poor or homeless. More than 5.5 million Texans, including a significant number of our veterans, qualify for legal aid. Legal issues account for three of the top 10 unmet needs of homeless veterans, according to the annual survey of homeless and formerly homeless veterans by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

So, how do Texas veterans facing legal issues get help? Legal aid programs, local bar associations, law schools and pro bono lawyers provide civil legal aid. They have all assisted veterans who are wrongly denied critical medical care, disability and other benefits, or who need help with family matters arising from deployment.