Duke Law student members of the Veterans Disability Assistance Project (VDAP) spent Sept. 14 at the National Guard Armory in Durham, N.C., serving area veterans as part of the 2012 Bull City Stand Down. Some helped veterans complete the Standard Form 180, while others gave a "know your rights" community education presentation. Duke Law's a capella group, Off the Record, also performed at the event (see photos from the event). Following are comments from students who participated:
"At BCSD, I submitted several SF180s, showed two classmates how to fill out the SF180 form, and helped give the presentation. I really enjoyed the event because it was great to talk to and help people ... who've served our country, and see how many organizations in the community came out to support our veterans. It was also good to get feedback from LANC on the presentation that we can incorporate the next time we present."
- Angela Cherepinsky '14
"I had a fantastic time at Stand Down, and I'm glad that I could be a part of this event."
- Jennifer Cieluch '15
"Seeing so many volunteers there to help was a truly awe-inspiring experience. This experience has confirmed my excitement for VDAP and being a legal aide working on real cases for real people."
- Andrew Ligon '15
"I interviewed clients for Legal Aid at Bull City Stand Down. Being able to contribute to this event was very rewarding. Although we didn't have many interviews for Legal Aid services, we did have a lot of veterans who took cards and will hopefully contact Legal Aid at some other time to get help with their legal problems. It was great to see the community get together to show veterans that we care and we appreciate their service. I was glad to be able to be a part of that."
- Tori Simmons '13
"I filled out SF-180 Forms for veterans so that they could receive proof of their military service and discharge so that they can begin the process of applying for disability benefits. I really appreciated the opportunity to help the veterans in some small way, and I was humbled by how appreciative they were when I am so grateful for their service."
- Autumn Hamit '14
"I was able to speak with and relate to several gentlemen who had served. My dad, dad's dad, dad's dad's dad, and several other men in my family have served in various wars back to WWI, so it was easy for me to find common ground with these men, telling them that my father fought so that one day I wouldn't have to. It is highly rewarding to show these men that people really appreciate what they do, even if we can't truly empathize with their sacrifice."
- Nick Wilson '15
"At Stand Down, I helped bring veterans to our table by asking if they could use any help with legal matters. I did an intake interview with one of the veterans, with the help of [a representative] of NC Justice Center. It was great to help this veteran make progress on his legal issues, and was a unique experience to learn some law and client relation skills."
- Jeff Rood '15