The U.S. Army gave John O’Brien a Purple Heart after he was wounded in a rocket attack in Iraq in 2004. But he claims that he isn’t getting the full benefits that he deserves since he retired as a lieutenant colonel five years later for medical reasons. “I’m in a never-ending battle with the government,” O’Brien says.
He doesn’t have to carry on the fight by himself, though. In-house lawyers at Verizon Communications Inc. are providing pro bono assistance to O’Brien and other veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts who maintain that they aren’t receiving all of the disability benefits that they’re entitled to. Last year Verizon lawyers began representing seven clients before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; this year the company took on one more claim against the VA. Plus, the New York-based telecom expanded its pro bono work in February in order to assist veterans eligible for the Combat-Related Special Compensation program.
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