It is extremely important that attorneys for Veterans and Service Members have both a respect for military service and an understanding of the challenges these clients face when charged with a crime.
Veterans and current Service Members have made commitments and sacrifices that are often poorly understood by those in the civilian world. Moreover, those returning from overseas service often carry wounds — both obvious and hidden. Oftentimes, Veterans who have been in combat return home having experienced trauma many times over. They have been under fire. They have witnessed the carnage caused by IEDs. They have lost friends.
Upon returning home, Veterans can experience unique challenges. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression are common. The sound of fireworks can trigger a Veteran’s response that was born from combat experience, but that is misunderstood by civilians. Family and friends can’t understand why a Veteran is withdrawn or why he or she acts differently. Spouses may not understand why the Veteran is in a near-constant state of alertness, or why they find it so hard to sleep. Some Veterans may turn to alcohol or other substance abuse, which carries with it a host of problems.
New Hampshire’s Seacoast Community has been home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for over 200 years. It was established on June 12, 1800 during the administration of President John Adams, and it is the United States Navy’s oldest continuously operating shipyard. Because our law office is near the Shipyard, many of our clients are naturally sailors, marines, and coastguardsmen. However, we have successfully represented clients from all branches of the military, both Veterans and those in active service.
We particularly understand the challenges that Veterans and Service Members confront when they find themselves charged with a crime. In fact, recognizing the problems faced by these clients, Attorney Reis spearheaded efforts to create the first Veterans Treatment Court in any of the Superior Courts in New Hampshire. The Rockingham County Veterans Behavioral Health Track accepted its first participant in February of 2017, and the program is now an established and respected alternative for some Veterans and Service Members who are confronted with criminal charges. The program seeks to address each participant’s physical, psychological, and social needs — as well as to provide a pathway back to a stable and productive life.
Attorney O’Keefe brings further expertise, having completed a clerkship for the United States Air Force at the Pentagon. During his tenure there, Attorney O’Keefe conducted in-depth administrative analysis and assisted in various criminal investigations.
Whether a particular case is dismissed prior to trial, proceeds to trial, or is resolved through negotiation, the needs of Veterans and Service Members are unique, and we have the experience, understanding, and compassion to address those needs.