Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced a new “Military and Veterans Legal Resource Guide” to help veterans, military personnel and their families understand their legal rights and protections.
“Coming from a family of veterans, I know how important it is to honor the service of our brave men and women in the Armed Forces by making sure they have the support and resources they need,” said Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “This new resource guide is an example of how the Attorney General’s Office can work with other organizations to help veterans and military personnel access the unique rights and protections available to them under the law.”
Flanked by veterans’ advocates and military officials, Ferguson announced that the new resource guide for veterans and military personnel is part of a broader initiative in the Attorney General’s Office to focus on enhancing the office’s efforts to assist veterans and military personnel.
“The Department of Veterans Affairs works hard to connect veterans with resources and benefits they have earned,” said Washington Department of Veterans Affairs Director Alfie Alvarado-Ramos. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Attorney General’s Office to help fulfill our mission of serving those who served.”
“Our active duty and reservists make important sacrifices for our county and they deserve our support,” said Col. Malinda Beggs of the Washington Air National Guard and Commander of the Joint Services Support Unit at Camp Murray. “Getting called to active duty or deployed overseas can create challenges for service members and their families. I appreciate the attention the Attorney General is giving to the issues facing our state’s military personnel and families.”
The Attorney General’s new military and veteran initiative focuses on:
- Engaging veterans and members of the military through enhanced outreach efforts;
- Educating veterans and military personnel about the legal rights and protections available to them because of their service;
- Enforcing the laws within the agency’s authority, such as the Consumer Protection Act, to protect Washington’s veterans and military personnel from unfair and deceptive business practices; and
- Encouraging the development of policies that advance the interests of Washington’s veterans and military personnel.
The resource guide released today is a central part of the Attorney General’s new initiative. The guide is available online and will be distributed throughout the state.
“Washington’s veterans and military personnel served or are serving to defend our rights, and they should know that the Attorney General’s Office is working to defend their rights as well,” said Ferguson.
Standing with the state’s veterans, military service members and their families is a top priority for the Attorney General. In the first six months since taking office, Ferguson has:
- Appointed a veterans’ outreach specialist;
- Created a new Web site, featuring legal resources for veterans, military and their families in the areas of business and commerce, housing, employment and the law;
- Cracked down on schemes targeting veterans with the promise of untapped benefits;
Signed the Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve; and
- Convened the Military and Veterans Assistance Team—an internal team of attorneys and legal staff dedicated to improving services for veterans, military and their families in Washington.
With approximately 640,000 veteran residents, Washington State has the 12th largest veteran population in the United States. Washington is also home to a number of major military installations, such as Joint Base Lewis–McChord, Fairchild Air Force Base, Naval Base Kitsap, and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Between active duty military personnel and members of the National Guard and Reserve, there are about 62,000 service members in Washington. Taken together, veterans and military personnel account for more than 10 percent of Washington’s total population.