Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Search for legal issues
For help near (city, ZIP code or county)
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location

For Our Vets: FindLaw Reflects on Veteran's Day

Article Placeholder Image
By Tanya Roth, Esq. on November 10, 2014 3:12 PM

November 11 is Veteran's Day. Do you care? Do you think a vet is just some old guy who wants to tell war stories? This month's From the Managing Editor asks the burning question: What is a veteran anyway?

The legal definition of a veteran is "a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable." But I found an even better definition: "A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'" Military.com, where I found that description, says that the author is unknown. But you can bet the person who wrote that served, or loved someone who did.

So now that we have a bit better idea of who we are talking about when we say "veteran," let's talk about what kinds of legal issues matter most to them and why those of us who didn't serve should care.

Veteran's Affairs

FindLaw's content creators recently published our Military Law section. This was the first brand-new "practice area" we had introduced in a really long time. When we looked around the Web, we realized there just weren't that many places both vets and active-duty service members could go to get accurate, useful, and actionable legal information.

And they need it. After all, divorce for an active-duty service member is quite different than for a civilian. Keeping your job during deployment is an issue that the rest of us don't have to think about either. And what if you are overseas when someone trips on the stairs of your house, falls, and sues you -- now what? This is why we created dozens of articles to help active service members and vets deal with family, criminal, employment, and general civil law issues. Not to mention the military administrative issues and veterans' benefits issues that are so complex, they even gave the attorneys here a run for their money. And there will be more to come next year.

Fight the Good Fight

So what resources have we developed to help vets and service members, should they find themselves in a legal fight instead of a firefight? As mentioned, we have an extensive family law section that deals with the very complex divorce, custody, and support issues service members can face. We have articles addressing not just the criminal penalties for a military DUI, but the effects of it on a member's career. Or how about charges that can stop career advancement like fraternization? Got that covered too. Of course there are more than just articles, we also provide links to useful organizations like the USAA and a directory of lawyers who specialize in military law, just in case you need one.

Every Day Is Veteran's Day

I have veterans in my family, so this is a topic near to me. However, even if you don't, you have so many reasons to know a bit about the legal issues those who serve our country face. First and most importantly, if you do have a service member in your family, you can be a major support to them in dealing with legal issues they may face while deployed. Take a look at articles on Military Children Born Abroad or What is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)? for some good information.

Even if no one close to you has served, you will need to know about the legal ramifications if you are a small business owner who hires vets, or wants to participate in a hiring program. And you should -- after all, that is one of the small ways we can pay back that check that our vets wrote. Finally, being able to understand the laws that govern us and the legal issues our military members face during and after active service is just one more way we can pay them back for their sacrifice.

It's just one more way we can say thank you.

Find a Lawyer

More Options