RALEIGH, NC—Womble Bond Dickinson is proud to support the Veterans Life Center of North Carolina (VLC). The firm was a lead sponsor of a recent event to honor retired WBD partner and former NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Burley Mitchell, who is a long-time supporter of the VLC. Justice Mitchell received the VLC’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Feb. 24 event in Raleigh.
Justice Mitchell, a US Navy veteran, has been a member of the VLC Advisory Board since 2011 and its Chair since 2012. During that time, he has been a tireless advocate for the VLC and for veteran’s causes in general, lending his powerful voice and renowned reputation to help improve the lives of at-risk North Carolina veterans.
“Chief Justice Mitchell is one of the greatest North Carolinians of his generation,” said Russell Laing, Chairman of the VLC Board of Directors. “He has devoted his life to public service here in our state and his left an indelible mark on its history.”
Womble Bond Dickinson Raleigh and RTP Office Managing Partner Beth Tyner Jones spoke about Justice Mitchell’s lifetime of contributions through public service that have shaped the legal landscape in North Carolina and positively impacted the daily lives of North Carolinians. She joined former Department of Veterans Affairs Chief of Staff Brooks Tucker in presenting Justice Mitchell with the VLC Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Thank you for all you have done for your state, your nation, our justice system, and the veterans who have served our country so honorably. Your friends and colleagues appreciate you, and we are so glad we could be here to see you receive this much-deserved honor,” Jones said.
Womble Bond Dickinson Partners Ray Bennett, Paul Billow, John Cooke, Jack Hicks, Chris Humphrey, Tom Lee and Charlie Livermon and retired Partners Don Donadio, Johnny Loper and Marilyn Forbes Phillips joined Jones in attending the event.
In addition to participating in this event honoring Justice Mitchell, WBD has raised over $70,000 thus far for the Veterans Life Center’s Five Star Leadership Campaign. We still are working toward our goal of $100,000, and donations are welcome. Please note WBD on your contribution.
The VLC facility recently opened in Butner, NC to help veterans make the sometimes difficult transition from the armed services to civil society. The statistics on veteran suicide and homelessness are sobering. The suicide rate of veterans compared to non-veteran adults has been widening for several years, and for the last few years for which data is available, veterans are about 50% more likely to commit suicide than non-veteran adults. Veterans are also over-represented among the homeless population of North Carolina. These are difficult problems that require a whole-of-society approach in order to make a meaningful impact.
Click here to watch a short video on the Veterans Life Center and its mission to help veterans.