Our Stories

Getting a Veteran Back to Work

Alvin Meitzenheimer is a 54 year-old Vietnam War-era veteran.  His trouble began not on the battle field, but state-side when he was laid off from his job as a mechanic.   He was unable to take his large collection of heavy tools with him on the day of the layoff.  He was given permission to leave his tools at the job site until he could retrieve them.  When Meitzenheimer returned to retrieve his tools, they were gone.  He was told they were stolen.  The employer, an international transportation corporation, denied liability and left Meitzenheimer with no means to provide for his family.  


After Meitzenheimer's personal pleas went unheard, he finally sought assistance.  The nonprofit Volunteers of America referred him to Rick Little, the director of Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement (CVA).  Little placed the case with  pro bono attorney Jim Finston of Arnold & Porter LLP who, after months of legal work, obtained a settlement of $30,000 to replace the missing tools.  "This man's going to be able to work and feed his family again," said Finston. 


This is just one example of the myriad ways CVA advocates on behalf of our clients who are veterans. "Our nation's debt to its soldiers doesn't end when they return home," said Little, "and Public Counsel is proud to partner with pro bono firms like Arnold & Porter and community nonprofits like Volunteers of America to help repay that debt."