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Former Womble Carlyle Pro Bono Director Tripp Greason calls it a “Kafkaesque situation.”
A retired, highly decorated (multiple Purple Hearts, Bronze Star with Valor, Silver Star) Vietnam War veteran attempts to collect his benefits—benefits that were earned through honorable service to our nation. But the check never arrives. Despite repeated calls and attempts to clarify the situation, the veteran finds himself still shut out of receiving his retirement benefits.
It turns out the problem is simply a typo—the veteran’s name was incorrectly entered on a form and his benefits weren’t properly processed. However, he is unable to clear up the problem on his own. To date, this retired serviceman and war hero has gone nearly seven years without receiving his earned benefits.
Womble Carlyle has begun working with the veteran in an effort to cut through the red tape. The case remains ongoing, but progress is being made. Former Womble Carlyle attorney Jim Hoffman (himself a veteran) began this pro bono process, and Georgi Yonuschot has continued the work Hoffman started.
Yonuschot recently became Chair of Legal Aid of North Carolina. She succeeds colleague Charles Holton in this statewide leadership role.