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Women May Soon Be Required to Register for the Draft

Last week, the US Senate approved a military policy bill that would require young women to register for the draft at age 18, just like young men. Americans have not been drafted into the military since 1973, but passage of the bill reignited a national debate about women, fighting, and equality, most notably among the many men in government.

That debate has been going on for decades. In 1981, the US Supreme Court ruled that women did not need to sign up for Selective Service because at that point they were not active in all aspects of military service. As of this year, The New York Times reports, the ban on women in combat roles has been completely lifted and female soldiers are on the front lines, in the trenches, and everywhere else. In light of this, soon it could be that everyone who turns 18 will have to register.

After celebrating Memorial Day and honoring those who died serving in the nation's armed forces, many may be wondering how the military and the legal system interact. In some cases, like the court martial process, the military has its own separate judicial system. In other cases, like divorce, military personnel are subject to the same judicial proceedings as everyone else.

Here are the top five legal issues facing military personnel and their families:

Benefits for Women Veterans Get Attention in Arizona

Although women have long served in the military and are increasingly in combat roles, there is little awareness of veterans' benefits for women. Mostly when we think of vets, we think of men. But the Department of Veteran Affairs in Arizona wants to change that.

The state's Department of Veteran Services this spring is holding four conferences targeting women veterans specifically. The department's director, Colonel Wanda Wright, told NBC News that the specific focus on women veterans is necessary because women who do not serve on combat units often fail to recognize themselves as veterans and miss out on services and benefits available to them.

Once welcomed home like a hero, Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is now being labeled a deserter.

Sergeant Bergdahl returned home last year after spending nearly five years in captivity with the Taliban. Bergdahl was released in exchange for the release of five members of the Taliban held at Guantanamo Bay. While his family and community welcomed home with open arms, Bergdahl's platoon members and fellow veteran soldiers accused him of deserting his post during war time, putting others at risk.

After a lengthy investigation, the army has decided to charge Bergdahl on two counts, desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Military Spouses Day: 5 Legal Issues Facing Military Families

Friday is Military Spouse Appreciation Day, created to honor the spouses of Americans who serve in the armed forces, many of whom are servicemembers themselves.

While military spouses may have more training than the average civilian, many face legal issues that are unique to military families.

So as we salute military spouses for their contributions and their sacrifices, here are five legal issues they may encounter and a few resources that can help:

Gay Ex-Marine Gets Dying Wish: Honorable Discharge

A dying ex-Marine who was ousted for being gay nearly 60 years ago finally got his wish on Friday, receiving paperwork that upgraded his discharge to "honorable."

Hal Faulkner, 79, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few years prior, and his dying wish was to change the language of his discharge from the Marines, reports National Public Radio.

Faulkner's story shows how times have changed for military veterans discharged for being gay, and highlights the process for upgrading a less-than-honorable discharge.

How Do Veterans Courts Work?

For many veterans, transitioning to civilian life can at times feel like an insurmountable challenge. While combating a slew of mental health issues, poverty, and substance abuse, a devastating number of veterans wind up in handcuffs.

Fortunately, Veterans Treatment Courts are coming to the rescue of countless vets who feel they are fighting an uphill battle against substance abuse, mental health issues, and a life of crime.

But what is a Veterans Treatment Court?

Military Women Sue Over Combat Roles

Women's equality has come a long way in the United States, but military women still cannot be assigned to combat units. That could change if a new lawsuit against Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is successful, Stars and Stripes reports.

The suit was filed by four women who served in Afghanistan or Iraq. They're joined by the Service Women's Action Network and are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union as well as a private law firm.

All of the women have engaged in combat while overseas, and two are Purple Heart recipients. They argue that the military's policies do a disservice to women who serve.

3 Veteran's Rights and How to Enforce Them

In honor of Veterans Day, we here at FindLaw would like to take a moment to thank the men and women who work hard and make extraordinary sacrifices to protect our country every day.

It's not easy to be a soldier, and the law is supposed to ensure that our veterans are taken care of once they return home. But unfortunately that's not the case for everyone who returns to civilian life, unless they're armed with information about what their rights really are.

There are many legal rights specific to veterans, and there are ways to make sure they're enforced. Here are three of the most important veteran's rights you should know about:

Westboro Vows to Defy Military Funeral Protest Law

Military funeral protests by members of the Westboro Baptist Church may be the target of a bill President Obama's signed into law Monday.

The bill, known as The Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, is a general package of veteran's affairs laws. It deals with many aspects of care for veterans and their families, covering healthcare, housing, and education.

It also covers memorial services and funerals which is where Westboro Baptist Church comes in.