A new initiative is spearheading the fight to protect our veterans. The Veterans Rights Project, led by Rachel Natelson of New York’s Urban Justice Center, seeks to address the plight of our soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Ms. Natelson wants to fight “the unjust and abuse-ridden claims application process, the lack of accountability for recruiting irregularities and sexual harassment and the persistence of the ill-conceived ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.”

While broad in its goals, the fledgling initiative has company such as the NYC Bar Association’s Veterans Legal Clinic. In part, the initiatives want to provide veterans with the advice and legal counsel which they currently can’t get until its too late, due to Federal restrictions.

And it looks like these programs are not a minute too soon. With the U.S. Army reporting current veterans’ levels of “severe stress, emotional, alcohol or family problems” at a rate 85 percent higher than that of 2005, it seems as if our returning soldiers need all the aid they can get.

Despite the necessity of fund raising and the current unpopularity of the Administration’s war policy, Ms. Natelson is firmly committed to “human rights and worker rights” as it relates to our troops. To learn more, please click here.