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Smith County to provide free legal advice to veterans

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SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) - Smith County veterans looking for legal help, will be able to get just that at a free legal clinic .Wednesday the Smith County Bar Association is partnering with other groups and lawyers to provide legal consultations for veterans dealing with non-criminal cases.

CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey explains why organizers said, this is just one opportunity to help support veterans.

Veterans can get advice on civil matters like divorce, child custody, land lord tenant problems and IRS issues .Volunteer lawyers will provide advice for veterans considering taking legal action -- and those who are in the middle of a case and want to make sure they're headed in the right direction. Veterans say it's a great service -- now it's a matter of getting the word out.

East Texas is filled with men and women who have served and are still serving our country. They've put so much on the line, organizations across Smith County are giving something in return.

"I think the more we can do for the veterans the better," said Vietnam Veteran Rudy Walter. "I think more should be done to educate the veterans on the services that are available for them."

One of the services soon to be available to veterans living in smith county, or who have open cases in Smith County is legal help.

"It's pro bono and it's just and opportunity to help support our veterans," said Marshal Joslin with the Smith County Veterans services office. His office along with a long list of other agencies, are coming together to provide the legal help. For some veterans facing financial hardship -- it can be especially valuable.

"With the economy and with everything going on, sometimes veterans they don't always have the access to the stuff they need and this is just one of the programs offered locally that the national government doesn't provide," Joslin said.

The consultations can be very valuable for those with little experience with the court system.

"They will provide 10 -15 minutes of advice and then if they can't do everything for you here, they will provide you with information for organizations that can help," Joslin said.

Although Vietnam vet Walter doesn't  not personally in need of legal help, plenty of his fellow veterans are.

"I see that all the time, they're not aware of what's available, or they don't have the resources."

So he says, the more help, the better...

Although tomorrow the event is mainly geared toward getting legal advice -- volunteers can point you in the right direction of legal representation. But before you come, organizers say you should bring all documents relating to pending cases and a photo id.

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