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D.C. firm offers pro bono help for disability claims

- The Washington Times - Monday, July 16, 2007

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

I was hoping that you would help us get out the word about the keen interest our law firm has in providing assistance to veterans by donating hundreds of hours to pro bono projects.

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice PLLC, recently announced its Washington, D.C., pro bono project "When Duty Calls." Womble Carlyle will host the program in an effort to provide military veterans with pro bono legal assistance in the initial stages of disability claims filed with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Greater Washington area serves more than 400,000 veterans, many of whom have suffered combat-related injuries or other service-connected disabilities, and are in need of legal assistance in submitting veteran disability claims. Womble Carlyle developed When Duty Calls for the purpose of beginning to meet this need by providing a Washington area resource dedicated exclusively to assisting veterans who wish to file or refile initial disability claims.

When Duty Calls will recruit licensed Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Delaware and Maryland attorneys (and supervised paraprofessionals, legal support staff and law students) to provide legal assistance to veterans on a pro bono basis, train those volunteers on the detailed process of preparing and submitting veteran disability claims, and conduct clinics to assist veterans in preparing their disability claims.

Veterans who seek legal assistance with a disability claim may contact Kaira Stelly at kstelly@wcsr.com or 202/467-6900.

Tim S. McClain

Washington

Dear Tim:

Glad to help spread the word concerning the help your firm is providing to our nation's veterans.

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

Thanks for all you do to help our veterans.

I would like to bring to your attention a program we started in 2003 to help our wounded men and women and their families at Walter Reed Army Medical Center called the "Angels of Mercy." The program is sponsored by American Legion Post 270 and Auxiliary Unit 270 in McLean. If your readers would like more information on how to help our wounded, please refer them to our Web site, www.supportour wounded.org.

Again, thanks for what you do for our veterans.

Marian Chirichella and Jay Edwards

Angels of Mercy program

Dear Fellow Legionnaires:

Thanks for assisting our wounded heroes.

Shaft Notes

The Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) has concluded its selection of recipients for the 2007-2008 academic year scholarship program. FRA awards nearly $100,000 annually, based on financial need, academic standing, and character and leadership qualities.

"FRA's exceptional scholarship program continues to grow stronger every year," said FRA National Executive Secretary Joe Barnes. "We are proud to provide many different types of scholarships to deserving students across the country who are America's future leaders."

FRA awards scholarships to FRA members and their spouses, children and grandchildren. The recipients are currently being notified and will be listed in the September issue of the association's monthly magazine, FRA Today.

Scholarship applications are available in September for the following academic year. The application can be downloaded from www.fra.org or requested by calling FRA National Headquarters at 800/FRA-1924. Applications must be postmarked no later than April 15 to be considered for scholarships that are awarded in July of each year. This year's corporate scholarships were the Geico Scholarship for $5,000 and the Geico and FRA Branch 348 Scholarship for $2,000.

The Ladies Auxiliary of FRA also sponsors annual scholarships. Applications for their scholarships can be requested by calling 800/626-9071 or can be downloaded from the scholarship section of FRA's Web site. Although applications can be used to apply for either program, applicants applying for both scholarship programs must submit separate application packages.

FRA's past regional presidents administer a scholarship for students who aspire to further their education in aeronautical engineering or pursue aviation-oriented degrees. These scholarships are derived from the estate of Walter Beall, past regional president Southeast. Applications for the Walter E. Beall Scholarships are available by writing to Walter E. Beall Scholarship, 4911 Fennell Court, Suffolk, VA 23435, Attn: W. R. Holcombe. Requests can also be submitted via e-mail to prp.inc2@verizon.net.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330; call 202/257-5446; or e-mail sgtshaft@bavf.org.