2017 Veterans Clinic Symposium

Modern Warfare: Challenges Arising from the Gulf War and the War on Terror

Overview

The Gulf War (code-named Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm) commenced on August 2, 1990 and concluded on February 28, 1991. Coalition forces from 35 countries were led by the United States, in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. During this time, the United States listed Iraq as a state sponsor of terrorism. 776 Coalition members were injured in The Gulf War; 145 Americans died. Many who served are disabled by previously unrecognized causes, such as burn pits, and suffer from diseases of unknown etiology, now called “Gulf War Illness.”

The War on Terror (including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom) began after the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Congress authorized the use of military forces on September 14, 2001. The effort against the terrorists is international, with support from the UK, Australia, Canada and many other countries. Theaters of operation are mainly Afghanistan and Iraq, but operations also occur in Africa, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and the Philippines.

The financial cost of the War on Terror is in the trillions. Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies estimates the bill through 2016 is $4.79 trillion. Of this amount, medical and disability payments are $213 billion, with $1 trillion slated as the estimate for future veteran care.

The human toll from the War on Terror is as dramatic: 370,000 service members, contractors, allied security forces and civilian bystanders have died as a direct result of violence. By November 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs reached the milestone 1,000,000 mark, relating to number of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan treated by VA. Since 2001, the Department of Veterans Affairs has diagnosed more than 200,000 of these veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder.

This year’s annual Veterans Clinic Symposium is dedicated to learning more about the challenges affecting those who served in the Gulf War and the War on Terror. Please join us at the Law School on Friday, November 10, 2017 to learn more.

Location

All events will be held in Hulston Hall, Room 7, on the University of Missouri campus.

Cost and Registration

The symposium is free and open to the public. Registration is requested, but not required.

Register Online

Continuing Legal Education Credit

CLE credit information will be available soon. Please check back for details.

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact the Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic at 573-882-7630 or email mulawvetclinic@missouri.edu.

Symposium Program

November 10, 2017
8:15 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

Angela K. Drake, Director of the Veterans Clinic

8:30 a.m. Challenges Arising from Battle:  An Informed Dialogue About Current Topics ranging from Moral Injury to Veteran Suicide

Sean Lee

Veteran Shawn M. Lee, ’15 
Associate Attorney, Foland, Wickens, Roper, Hofer & Crawford P.C.

Paul Wade

Capt. Paul Wade, Army National Guard, J.D. Candidate ’18 

Moderated by:

Grant O'Neal

Dr. Grant O’Neal, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
PTSD Clinical Team Leader and MST Coordinator
Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital

9:45 a.m. Challenges for the Service Member’s Loved Ones and Advocates: The Military Culture and Issues Post Deployment

Jon Sabala

Jon Sabala
Veterans Services Director
Missouri Department of Mental health

10:35 a.m. Break
10:50 a.m. *Challenges Lessened?  Words of Wisdom Concerning Gulf War Claims, Recent Presumptions and Regulations Relating to PTSD

Current clinical students Brian Moody and Alec Atkinson with Amy Odom

Amy Odom

Amy Odom
Director of Litigation
National Veterans Legal Services Program

12:00 p.m.  Lunch (provided)
12:20 p.m. *Environmental Challenges: Burn Pits 

Amy Kretkowski

Amy B. Kretkowski, Esq.
Veterans Law Office of Amy B. Kretkowski

Greg Bier

Gregory L. Bier
Associate Teaching Professor and Director, Entrepreneurship Alliance
University of Missouri Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business
Veteran, U.S. Army

Moderated by:

David Myers

David Myers, Esq.
Director of Case Evaluation and Placement
Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program

1:10 p.m. *Keynote Presentation:  Overcoming Evidentiary Challenges By Gathering and Presenting Geospatial Proof  

Chris Dunn

Christopher W. Dunn, ’14
Owner of GeoVelo
Veteran of the Gulf War

2:10 p.m. Break
2:20 p.m. *Challenging Claims: Proper Review of TBI/PTSD Case Development

Amelia Tapp

Amelia Tapp
Decision Review Officer
St. Louis VA Regional Office

Nicholas Simpson

Nicholas Simpson, ’15
Hill & Ponton, P.A.

3:10 p.m.

*Challenging Discharges:  the Process of Discharge Updates

Danica Gonzalves

Danica Gonzalves, Esq.
Discharge Upgrade Project Manager
The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program

4:00 p.m *Closing

Angela Drake
Director of the Veterans Clinic

*Indicates CLE available; 5.6 hours total

Speaker Bios

Greg Bier

Gregory L. Bier

Associate Teaching Professor and Director, Entrepreneurship Alliance
University of Missouri Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business
Veteran, U.S. Army

US Army Major Greg Bier grew up in St. Louis. He earned his US Army Parachutist Badge at age 20 and was commissioned as a regular army officer in 1985. He served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, company commander, landmine and explosives trainer, and staff officer within a wide variety of both combat engineer and special operations units in the United States and overseas.

He deployed with the 18th Airborne Corps for the defense of Saudi Arabia as part of Desert Shield in 1990. He then fought with the 24th Infantry Division during Desert Storm and was part of a 370 kilometer attack deep into the Euphrates River Valley with such speed, aggressiveness, and determination that the attack broke the Iraqis willpower to continue the fight after nearly 100 hours of combat.

Following his return home, Major Bier remained in the military for several years until leaving to pursue graduate school. After completing his Ph.D. at Missouri University of Science and Technology he helped start the Humanitarian Demining Training Center, an organization that became a global leader in landmine and unexploded ordnance removal. He was a resident “intrapreneur” for the Army’s Engineer School where he conducted several feasibility studies and plans aimed at broadening the scope of training and service of the United States Department of Defense.

He is now an Associate Teaching Professor and Director of the University of Missouri’s
Entrepreneurship Alliance. He currently teaches Experiential Entrepreneurship for the University of Missouri’s Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business.


Angela Drake

Angela Drake

Director of the Veterans Clinic and Instructor
University of Missouri School of Law

Professor Angela Drake is director of the Veterans Clinic and instructor at the University of Missouri School of Law. Before joining the law school, she practiced law for more than 25 years in in the areas of complex and class action litigation and insurance coverage and defense. She was a shareholder in the firm of Niewald, Waldeck and Brown in Kansas City, where she practiced for 18 years. She then became a member of Lowther Johnson, LLC, located in Springfield, Mo. In the course of her practice, Professor Drake represented individual and corporate clients in jury trials, bench trials and appellate proceedings in both federal and state court.

Professor Drake received her bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., in 1982 and her JD from the University of Minnesota in 1985.

At the School of Law, Professor Drake teaches Insurance Law, Pretrial Litigation and Trial Practice.


Chris Dunn

Christopher W. Dunn, ’14

Owner of GeoVelo
Veteran of the Gulf War

Christopher W. Dunn resides in Columbia, Missouri where he is a small business owner, attorney, and expert geospatial witness. He holds a Juris Doctor from Mizzou Law as well as Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Kansas State. Chris’s business is GeoVelo, LLC. There he uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and 3-D software to make specialty maps for health care industry clients and 3-D computer model crime scene reconstructions. Chris’s mapping customers include Community Asset Builders, in Jefferson City, Truman Medical Center, Kansas City, MO; and several legal firms. GeoVelo’s maps are used by hospital system boards of directors, CFOs and CEOs for their strategic business development planning, marketing, and facility siting decisions.

Prior to becoming, an attorney, Chris had a 20-year career as the director of several local government planning, zoning and development departments. Before his local government career Chris spent some time overseas working for his Uncle Sam defusing bombs as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician, and generally making a mess of other people’s ammunition stockpiles and infrastructure. He is a veteran of the first Gulf War and is member of the Missouri Bar, an Eagle Scout, and has won awards for his urban planning, filmmaking, and pro-bono legal work.


Danica Gonzalves

Danica Gonzalves

Equal Justice Works fellow
The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program

Danica Gonzalves is an Equal Justice Works fellow at The Veterans Consortium in Washington, D.C. She manages the Discharge Upgrade Project, a nationwide program that pairs veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and/or traumatic brain injury and Other Than Honorable discharges with pro bono attorneys to assist with discharge upgrade applications.

Ms. Gonzalves is a George Washington University Law School alum. Her studies encompassed mental health law, health care, and disability rights. During law school, she founded Active Minds at The George Washington University Law. The student organization raises awareness regarding mental health disorders. She also serves as a speaker for mental health advocacy events. Through the Discharge Upgrade Project, Ms. Gonzalves intends to combat the stigma of invisible illnesses, provide an essential service to those seeking a discharge upgrade, and restore honor to our nation’s defenders.


Amy Kretkowski

Amy B. Kretkowski

Veterans Law Office of Amy B. Kretkowski

Amy Kretkowski is a veterans law attorney in private practice in Iowa City, IA, and an Adjunct Professor of Veterans Benefits Law at the University of Iowa College of Law. She is also a mentoring attorney with the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program; Chair of the Rules Advisory Committee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; Co-Chair of the Veterans Work Group of Iowa’s Access to Justice Commission; a member of the Military Affairs Committee of the Iowa State Bar Association; and a member of the Education/Outreach and Legislative Committees of the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates.

She has taught CLE programs for Iowa Legal Aid and conducted annual trainings for the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers, as well as various veterans service groups in Iowa and around the country. From 2009 to 2011, she served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Mary J. Schoelen on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. She received her J.D., with distinction, from the University of Iowa’s College of Law, and her B.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in a 100-year-old house in Iowa City with her husband Paul and their WonderMutt, Gabe.


Shawn Lee

Shawn M. Lee, ’15

Associate Attorney, Foland, Wickens, Roper, Hofer & Crawford P.C.

Shawn Lee, ’15, is from Jefferson City, Mo. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantryman in 2004. He served with the 10th Mountain Division in Baghdad, Iraq as a scout/sniper in 2008 and with the 101st Airborne Division in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, as a squad leader in 2010. While in Afghanistan, his vehicle drove over a buried improvised explosive device (IED) in 2010 while he was taking point on a patrol to meet with a local village elder. Five months later, he was screened for a traumatic brain injury. A CT scan subsequently found over 20 lesions on his brain and damage to his left inner ear drum. Mr. Lee received a Purple Heart for these wounds.

In 2012, Mr. Lee completed his bachelor of science degree in business administration and in 2014 he graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law. He was instrumental in the formation of the law school’s Veterans Clinic, and served as one of the clinic’s first student.

Mr. Lee now works at Fox Stretz & Quinn in Kansas City and maintains a solo practice that works exclusively with veterans and their families.


David Myers

David Myers

Director of Case Evaluation and Placement
Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program

David H. Myers, Esq., is the director of case evaluation and placement component of the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program.

During his career, Cmdr. Myers served as the director, Special Programs Division (OJAG); deputy director, Appellate Government Division, Navy-Marine Appellate Review Activity; deputy director, Criminal Law Division (OJAG); senior trial counsel, Naval Legal Service Office, Naples, Italy, during the first Gulf War; military judge, Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary, Atlantic Circuit; and assistant staff judge advocate, Bureau of Naval Personnel. He earned several personal decorations, including four Meritorious Service Medals. His enlisted service included a deployment to Southeast Asia on the USS Ranger (CVA-61) in 1973-74.

Cmdr. Myers is a 1972 graduate of Mac Murray College in Jacksonville, Ill., and a 1978 graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law in Valparaiso, Ind. In 1987 he earned a master of laws degree from The Army’s Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Va.


Amy Odom

Amy Odom

Director of Litigation
National Veterans Legal Services Program

Amy F. Odom is the director of litigation for the National Veterans Legal Services Program. In this role, she represents veterans and survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and other federal courts. She also trains, develops and supervises other NVLSP staff attorneys and pro bono attorneys. With respect to pro bono attorneys, her supervision is provided through NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® program, as well as the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program.

Ms. Odom has served as the treasurer of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association and as vice chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Veterans Affairs Committee. She has spoken on matters related to veterans disability benefits on several occasions, including as a panelist with expertise in disability ratings for orthopedic conditions during the Twelfth Judicial Conference of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and as an expert on VA benefits for disabilities caused by military sexual trauma during the University of Missouri’s School of Law Veterans Clinic Symposium in 2014. Her publications include contributions to the 2011 and 2012 editions of the veterans affairs chapter of the American Bar Association’s Developments in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, as well as to several editions of NVLSP’s Veterans Benefits Manual.

Ms. Odom is a graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2006), where she competed on the school’s moot court team and served as a public interest fellow with the Center for Government Responsibility. Ms. Odom also earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida (B.A., Political Science, cum laude, 2003).


Grant O'Neal

Dr. Grant O’Neal

PTSD Clinical Team Leader and MST Coordinator
Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital

Grant O’Neal is the PTSD clinical team leader and MST coordinator at Truman VA Medical Center in Columbia, Mo. His administrative responsibilities include coordination and development of PTSD and MST treatment services, outreach and clinical supervision. Clinical responsibilities include evaluation, treatment planning and intervention, and clinical consultation.

O’Neal is a member of the VISN 15 Psychology Professional Standards Board. Previously, he was a psychologist for University of Missouri Behavioral Health and Family Counseling Center of Missouri. He is certified in cognitive processing and prolonged exposure therapies and is a member of the American Psychological Association.


Jon Sabala

Jon Sabala

Veterans Services Director

Jon Sabala is the Veterans Services Director with the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Jon is responsible for the statewide policy and program development, implementation and operation of behavioral health services for Missouri’s service members, veterans and their families. He is a retired U.S. Army Infantryman with 22-years of service whose deployments include: Operation Desert Storm, Kosovo, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.


Nick Simpson

Nic Simpson

Hill & Ponton, P.A.

Nicholas grew up in the St. Louis Metro East suburbs and attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, focusing on comparative politics in Europe, with a minor in business administration. Following graduation, he attended University Of Missouri School Of Law graduating in May 2015. While there, he participated in numerous competitions ranging from alternative dispute resolution to appellate advocacy. In his third year of school, he began working in the University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic as a research assistant providing pro-bono assistance to veterans and was part of the 2014 National Veterans Moot Court Competition Team arguing in Washington, D.C.

Subsequent to graduation, he wanted to continue helping veterans who had been wrongfully denied their benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was this desire to help those who had served our country that led him to the team at Hill & Ponton. At Hill & Ponton, he continues to help our nation’s veterans obtain the disability benefits they deserve


Amelia Tapp

Decision Review Officer
St. Louis VA Regional Office

Amelia TappAmelia Tapp began her dedication to veterans during her childhood as a volunteer with the non-profit Disabled American Veterans (DAV), following a strong family tradition of service.  Her lifetime of volunteerism led to a job with DAV, which, after one year, led to a career with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Ms. Tapp has worked her way through the ranks of the Chicago and St. Louis VA regional offices as a public contact representative, veterans service representative, rating veterans service representative and decision review officer.  She is a subject matter expert in VA compensation and pension, and has specialized in cases involving military sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, neurological disabilities, seriously injured/very seriously injured veterans and former prisoners of war.  When not chasing after her four-year-old nephew at her home in Illinois, Ms. Tapp can be found on her family’s farm outside of Hermann, Mo.


Paul Wade

Paul Wade

Army National Guard, J.D. Candidate ’18
Paul is part of a family with a long line of service to the United States. 9/11 happened when Paul was in college, and he knew he wanted to serve in some way following those events. As the United States invaded Iraq, Paul enlisted to become an infantryman so he could serve his country on the front lines of the war on terror.

Paul deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan as both an enlistedman and then as an officer. Paul’s last two
deployments were to the eastern part of Afghanistan, where he worked very closely with Afghan police and army. While working with Afghans, Paul noticed that a functioning economy stopped terror more effectively than any bullet could. A functioning economy relied upon the assurance of safety, the free flow of money, and the effectiveness of law. Paul saw firsthand how the poor were able to send their children to schools that would forever alter their ability to impact their community and the world. He saw the way a good job with prospects of a better life made people reject insurgent movements promising less economic growth.

Paul’s work with Afghans has shown him the importance of trade, investment, and American companies moving overseas. Paul received his MBA with a focus in international business while serving in the military and left the Army after 12 years to pursue his Juris Doctor at the University of Missouri in order to help America become successful in growing business outside its shores.


About the Veterans Clinic

Students in the University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic help veterans and their families secure disability-related benefits. Student work is done primarily at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals level and before the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims, under the supervision of an attorney, Director Angela Drake.

Since its inception in 2014, the clinic has assisted 64 veteran clients. Each semester, Drake oversees the work of eight students, as they review veterans’ military records and disability files, track down witness statements and work with doctors to secure medical opinions.

The clinic is run like a law firm, providing Mizzou Law students with experience designed to prepare them for the practice of law while securing retroactive monetary benefits for our nation’s veterans.

If you have questions, please contact the Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic at 573-882-7630 or email mulawvetclinic@missouri.edu.

Parking for the Symposium

Free parking is available in Lot K, on the south side of the Hearnes Center on Stadium Blvd. To access, turn south off of Stadium Blvd. onto Mick Deaver Memorial Dr., next to the football stadium. Follow to the stop sign and turn left on Champions Dr. You will see the lot on your left; make your next left to access it. Please see the map provided.

Download campus map with directions (.pdf)

Our mini-van shuttle will pick up guests on the edge of the lot next to the building. Look for the A-Frame style “Shuttle Service” sign with our event poster.