Friday, June 25, 2010

Cuccinelli’s military tele-town hall promises veteran advocacy

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

In a press release Friday evening Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced “a new level of veterans advocacy” in the attorney general’s office. In a Thursday night town hall meeting for veterans and active duty military he took questions from callers. His office plans to train state agencies on using the law to better advocate for their clients when obtaining federal veterans benefits.

On the call with Cuccinelli was Virginia’s Commissioner of Veterans Services, former Vietnam prisoner of war and retired Navy Commander Paul Galanti – who was also on the call. Cuccinelli committed to developing strategies for “determining which veterans are homeless and how best to assist them.”

Cuccinelli called it a campaign promise he plans to keep. “As veterans too often know, their benefits can be delayed by federal red tape,” Cuccinelli said.

Cuccinelli set as a priority opportunities for veterans “to become and remain gainfully employed in Virginia.” To achieve this goal he will ensure that state state agencies and localities receive training related to the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and Virginia Code Title 44 as it relates to employment and reemployment rights.

Cuccinelli tasked Senior Assistant Attorney General Cindy Norwood these efforts. Norwood is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps with the 80th Training Command Army Reserve and is a trained ombudsman with the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

Cuccinelli said he would also work with the Virginia judiciary to educate judges on how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury issues affect veterans.

 “Many veterans who get into trouble with the law after returning from combat zones need medical help, not jail time,” said Cuccinelli.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Politics, State Politics

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