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Episode 34: A Lawyer Turned Soldier

This episode of the Veterans Voice podcast is a little different than a few of the last. Along with the managing attorney at Veterans Law Group, our normal host, Amanda L. Mineer, we’re joined by Aaron Drake! He has spent over 14 years as a military lawyer and now practices law out of Utah. 

Aaron is a passionate veteran, and says his inspiration to join the military may have been a little cliché. But in our experience, there’s no such thing. He goes on and gives us a proper introduction to his life as a military service member and shares a story that many of our veteran listeners will find relatable. Afterward, he paints a very fascinating image of his time serving in Iraq as a lawyer turned soldier. 

Then, toward the middle of this episode, Aaron and Amanda share a few interesting conversations focusing on discharges from the military. Specifically, our hosts touch on how certain discharges can harshly affect a soldier’s life when returning to the normal workforce. 

Their conversations lead to some important information regarding the appropriate steps a veteran can take after receiving an Other Than Honorable Discharge. 

Later on, we discuss the inner workings of the VA. 

While many veterans, including a good amount of our listeners, feel that the VA is not on their side, Aaron urges veterans to use a bit of optimism. He says that after hiring a former employee of the VA at his law office, his own perspective was changed. The former employee told him that VA raters actually celebrate when they can give a big chunk of backpay to a veteran. 

Aaron and Amanda continue discussing the employees for a while and manage to paint some color onto an otherwise black and white image of the VA. 

Nearing the end of our podcast, Amanda gives Aaron the chance to step up on a soapbox and talk about something that she is particularly passionate about– Military sexual trauma (MST). Aaron starts discussing MST cases but primarily focuses on making one thing clear; all victims have advocates that will trust and believe them– No matter what. 

He tells our listeners and Amanda that he will not turn down any military service member suffering through the trauma of being sexually assaulted. 

To hear more of the discussions that Amanda and Aaron had, please tune into this episode of the podcast! If you or a loved one needs help getting disability benefits, Veterans Law Group can help. Request a free consultation now.