On November 11th, we celebrate Veterans’ Day. At LAF, we are particularly proud of the work we do to protect veterans and their families just as they have dedicated their lives to protecting our own. In honor of Veterans’ day, we’re sharing our one of our favorite veterans stories here:
Jake, a member of the Illinois National Guard, has been living in the same apartment for almost eight years now. In fact, he’d even worked there as a property manager for a while. He always paid his rent (and had proof to show it), and was a pretty good tenant. Things were going well for Jake and his life was stable. Then, last year, the owner of the building passed away and the three children who inherited the building started to bicker. Two of the siblings tried several times to evict Jake because he was friendly with the other sibling. It got ugly. Jake received another eviction notice, and when he tried to pay his rent, the siblings refused to accept it.
So Jake called LAF. Our Veterans Rights Project connected him with Frank Dylewski, a pro bono attorney from Kirkland and Ellis, who has achieved many great results for LAF clients before. Frank agreed to help Jake negotiate with his landlord. Then Jake was subpoenaed for a deposition in the siblings’ own dispute. Frank represented Jake there too, and together, LAF and Frank were able to keep Jake in his apartment.
Before the case even concluded, Grant Swinger, JAG Captain and Chief of the Illinois Attorney General’s Military and Veterans’ Rights Bureau, wrote LAF the following message:
“Thank you so much for your assistance in regard to the recent referral. [Jake] speaks highly of his contact with you and has been floored by the assistance he has received from [you and Frank]. In all sincerity, you have helped return a Soldier to ‘mission ready’ status through your great work.”
We are proud of how we were able to help Jake, and we are grateful for his service of our country. Jake is one of many veterans who have crossed paths with LAF throughout the years. In our 2011 annual report, we shared the story of Ben, who proudly served our country in Vietnam. You may also remember Kevin and his daughter Jordan, who stole the show at our Luncheon this year.
None of this Veterans work would be possible without your dedicated support and financial contributions. You can make a donation today in honor of Veterans’ Day at www.lafchicago.org/donate. Thank you for helping us serve those who serve.