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NEWS | June 23, 2016

Army Reserve attorney receives prestigious ABA award

By Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Eugene 80th Training Command

Richmond Va. - Capt. Tanya Mayes, an Army Reserve attorney assigned to 80th Training Command received the 2015 American Bar Association’s Legal Assistance for Military Personnel Distinguished Service Award during a ceremony at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center June 10, 2016.   

The ABA LAMP Awards recognize exceptional achievements or exceptional service to or in support of the military legal assistance effort.

Mayes was recognized for leading an effort to establish a free legal assistance clinic for military veterans after she learned that a significant number of patients needed assistance. Her husband, Raymond Pacheco, who works as a nurse at the medical center, told her that stress over wills and powers of attorney, and in one case a wrongful eviction, was negatively impacting patients' health with several showing elevated vitals. 

Active duty installations that normally provide legal assistance to veterans are often far away from VA hospitals.

Her office at the 80th TC is approximately six minutes away from the medical center, so Mayes got permission to help the patients after a yearlong tedious authorization process.

Mayes' team from the 80th TC Office of the Staff Judge Advocate has since provided legal assistance to more than 150 qualified veterans and active duty Wounded Warriors since July 2014. Demand for the clinic’s services has grown and, on average, the team helps 15 vets a month. 

Medical center staff routinely call Mayes when they admit patients with traumatic brain injuries or polytrauma issues. She assesses the patients’ legal needs at their bedsides and then provides the necessary assistance.

Retired Navy Captain Dwain Alexander, a member of the LAMP committee, will presented Mayes with the award.