PACT Act To Provide Expanded Resources and Benefits to Veterans

Jocelyn Mallette is a Black woman with brown eyes and curly, shoulder-length hair. She is wearing a teal blouse, gold necklace, and black suit jacket, and she is standing against a warm camel-colored wall. By Jocelyn Mitnaul Mallette

On August 10, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022. The PACT Act was championed by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). This bipartisan effort was the largest single bill in American history to address our service members’ exposure to burn pits and other toxic substances. Among its many provisions, this bill will provide much-needed access to health care and disability benefits for veterans harmed by certain toxic exposures, including water contamination at Camp LeJeune. Read more

Military and Veterans Law Section Honors John Brooker

By Jocelyn Mitnaul Mallette

The Military & Veterans Law (MVL) Section is proud to recognize professor John W. Brooker as the 2021 recipient of the Kirk Warner Award for Distinguished Service to Military and Veterans. This award recognizes an individual who has provided not only outstanding service to military members and/or veterans, but who also encourages others to do the same.

Brooker’s selfless devotion to military members and veterans was seamlessly borne out of his own selfless service to this nation. Brooker is a 20-year Army veteran who currently serves as the director of the Military and Veterans Law Clinic at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Law. He also teaches a variety of courses in the national security law field. Brooker is a 2003 graduate of UNC School of Law.

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November Update: Recent Article Highlights MVL Section, Plus Register for This Month’s CLE

By Jocelyn Mitnaul Mallette

With Veterans Day around the corner, I thought it would be timely to highlight the Military & Veterans Law (MVL) Section. The MVL Section was recently featured in Attorney at Law Magazine NC Triangle, Vol. 9, No. 4. The article highlights the work of our section and the important mission that drives our members. “When we needed them to safeguard our rights, these men and women answered the call to service. Now, it is our responsibility to protect their rights,” said Matthew Wilcut, past president of the section. Check out the full article in Attorney at Law Magazine here!

As a veteran, I am so proud to be a part of this section because of my fellow members. They are selfless legal professionals who are truly passionate about and committed to serving North Carolina’s military and veteran community. If you are interested in getting involved with the MVL Section or if you’re a legal professional who serves military members and veterans, join us on November 18 for a live webcast entitled “Helping Our Heroes: Representing Veterans Before the VA, BVA, CAVC and DoD.” This program will discuss a wide range of topics, including issues related to VA disability advocacy, military disability retirement pay, and early lease termination. This program has been approved for 7.00 MCLE hours.

Current president of the section, Patrick Wilson, reflected on the mission of the section in conjunction with the upcoming observance of Veterans Day stating, “We at the MVL especially value the occasion of Veterans Day to thank and honor those men and women in uniform who have sacrificed so much and that we take the opportunities available with the MVL to do right by them.”

Recent Military and Veteran-Related Legislation in North Carolina

We thought we’d take a moment to note a few recent legislative items involving military members and veterans in North Carolina. House Bill 584, which is currently in the House, seeks to allow post-traumatic stress disorder to be taken into consideration by courts when a veteran is being sentenced: The bill states that if a veteran has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in connection with his or her military service and is undergoing professional treatment, this condition can be a mitigating factor in sentencing.

There are also a number of bills aimed at providing tax relief to veterans and military retirees. HB 83, Eliminate Income Tax for Military Retirees ( and S12, Military Retiree State Income Tax Relief (

Finally, Governor Cooper signed House Bill 138 into law last week, which recognizes April 24 as Wounded Heroes Day in North Carolina. It is in honor of retired Sgt. Michael Verardo, who was catastrophically wounded in Afghanistan while serving with the 82nd Airborne Division in 2010.

Thank you, and hope you’re well!

Fight for Those Who Fought for Us

By Charlotte Stewart

What is “Project 100,000,” and why should I know about it?

When is an “other than honorable” discharge maybe not so?

What is a “Change Management Agent,” and why should I be nice to them?

Each year, the NCBA Military & Veterans Law (MVL) Section strives to provide CLE opportunities to support legal professionals serving North Carolina’s military and veteran community across a range of practice areas. This year’s program takes place on Thursday, November 19, covering topics such as representing veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), how to prepare clients for compensation & pension medical exams, issues to look out for even after a veteran has been granted compensation for service-connected disability, and history and recent updates around character of discharge.

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Scholarships for Children of Wartime Veterans

By Adam Banks

Some may not know that the North Carolina General Assembly has adopted legislation providing for a four-year scholarship for children of wartime veterans at approved schools in North Carolina. We think this scholarship program is a tremendous benefit to North Carolina residents, and we hope Military & Veteran Law Section members will circulate the information below to anyone interested.

More information can be found at and requirements and information for the scholarship can be found at

NC Legislative Filing: H.B. 50 – Allow Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for TBI/PTSD

Bill Website:

Summary: This bill proposes to allow certain medical professionals to treat veterans who have PTSD or TBI with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

Further Reading: In early 2018, the VA obtained an evidence brief related to the use of HBOT to treat PTSD and TBI, which is available at  This brief concludes that “offering HBOT to Veterans with mild or moderate to severe TBI and/or PTSD appears reasonable – with careful consideration of potential increased risk of certain harms.”  The VA continues to study the effectiveness of HBOT in treating these conditions.

The Immigration Benefits Of Military Parole In Place

Guest Post

By Lisa Kobayashi

When a military member is threatened with potential negative immigration consequences to their family, it may have a significant impact on the military member’s morale and readiness to perform the duties of their service. Recognizing this, the U.S. government has created certain discretionary benefits to ease the immigration process for military members’ families. One such benefit is military “parole in place.”  Significantly, if granted, the parolee would be authorized to stay in the U.S., and if they meet the criteria, it would further allow the family member to receive their permanent residency in the United States, rather than having to travel abroad to their home country for an interview to finish processing their case to receive their green card.

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Three-Section Networking Happy Hour In Fayetteville Feb. 28


The NCBA Family Law, Estate Planning, and Military & Veterans Law Sections invite you to a joint networking happy hour in Fayetteville.

Date and Time: 5 – 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28

Location: The Mash House, 4150 Sycamore Dairy Road, Fayetteville

RSVP online by Tuesday, Feb. 26

Free for all Section Members. Invite someone who could be a member.


VA List of Benefits Available For Veterans During the Shutdown

The VA has provided a list of resources available for veterans impacted by the partial government shutdown available at this link.

The VA recognizes that many veterans are also government employees affected by the partial federal government shutdown and may be experiencing personal and financial stress. The VA is open and working to support furloughed veteran federal employees. The list also provides programs and assistance by other federal agencies and organizations.