The Syracuse University College of Law will again partner with the Veterans Issues, Support Initiative and Outreach Network (VISION) to host its third Valor Day this Saturday, April 5. As a way of giving back to those who have served, law students, alumni and local volunteers will provide free legal and advocacy services for veterans, service members and their families.
As a way to ease the transition in to civilian life, the event provides answers to legal and financial questions as well as credit counseling and assistance on tax returns. The school also provides vocational counseling and resume reviews.
“Valor day allowed me to get connected to the local community, but also to meet a lot of the organizations that are here in central New York and really work on getting a job,” said Andres Lazo, a former reconnaissance soldier in the U.S. Army. Lazo served during Operation Iraqi Freedom, suffered a brain injury and was later diagnosed with PTSD. Today he's looking forward to graduating from Syracuse with a Masters Degree in Public Administration through the Federal GI bill.
Lazo's experience is one that VISION tries to replicate each year. Valor Day also includes a veterans' information fair with representatives from more than 25 veteran and government organizations. While the advocacy services take some of the burden off of the veterans during their transition, the information fair is designed to provide veterans with important contacts that can help them cope with civilian life.
“We saw a vision and an opportunity to bring the resources of a law school and its students to bear for our veterans. We think they represent the best this country has to offer. They risk their lives at night so we can pursue our dreams during the day and we think Valor Day is our opportunity to give back,” said Valor Day co-founder Tom Caruso. Caruso, a law student at Syracuse and a graduate student at the Maxwell School of Public Policy, is also an officer in the United States Navy and the executive director of VISION.
The event will be held in the College of Law Building, White Hall, from 9 AM to 1 PM. Appointments for services are recommended but walk-ins are welcome. Transportation to the event can also be arranged by emailing VISION@law.syr.edu or calling 315-464-0715.