Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gunn Sworn In As Veterans Affairs General Counsel

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 27, 2009) - Attorney Will A. Gunn, a retired Air
Force colonel, took the oath of office yesterday as General Counsel of
the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) following his recent Senate

"I'm thrilled by the opportunity to serve as VA's General Counsel," Gunn
said. "I'm also humbled and deeply honored by the confidence that
President Obama and Secretary Shinseki have shown in me with this

"Veterans hold a special place in my heart," he added. "I look forward
to helping lead a transformation at VA to make the department more
people-centric, results oriented, and forward looking than ever before.
I look forward to serving as VA's General Counsel and consider it both a
blessing and a sacred trust."

Gunn assumes the helm of an office with a nationwide staff of more than
700 employees, including 460 attorneys. The General Counsel ensures the
faithful execution of the laws, regulations and policies that VA

The General Counsel's interpretations on legal matters further VA's
mission of service to the nation's Veterans with written opinions on
adjudications and appeals involving Veterans' benefits under laws
administered by VA.

Operating through seven professional staff groups in Washington plus 22
regional counsel offices across the United States, the office provides
VA representation before administrative and judicial forums, offers
formal and informal legal and ethics advice, and drafts and advocates
legislation affecting Veterans.

Gunn, an attorney who at the time of his nomination represented military
members and Veterans in private practice in northern Virginia, retired
from the Air Force in 2005, where he served as a colonel in the Judge
Advocate General's Corps.

A former White House fellow, he received the American Bar Association's
Outstanding Career Military Lawyer Award. In 2003, he was named the
first chief defense counsel in the Department of Defense's Office of
Military Commissions, building a defense team and supervising defense
activities for detainees selected for trial before military commissions
to ensure they received effective representation.

A native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Gunn is a graduate of the U.S. Air
Force Academy and is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. While
at Harvard, he was elected president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau,
the nation's oldest student-run legal services organization.

He also has a master's degree in environmental law from George
Washington University School of Law and a master of science degree in
national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed

Gunn has been chair of the American Bar Association's Commission on
Youth at Risk and served on the board of Christian Service Charities.
In 2005, he was named president and chief executive officer of Boys &
Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.

He appears to be an excellent choice, the question is will he be a pro-veteran lawyer or another lawyer that finds all the screwball justifications his predecessors have to keep the VAfrom having to properly compensate veterans or their families due to bad decisons from Regional Offices and VA employees not properly processing claims files. Time will tell this story...............

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