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Rights of Military Reservists Called to Active Duty
In these uncertain times, more and more military reservists, including full and part-time UW students, are being called to active duty and deployed, many overseas. Military reservists called to active duty understandably have many, many concerns in regard to how they can continue to manage their finances while deployed, what will happen to their property if they do not come home, etc. While the military does have lawyers on its staffs, these men and women are often overwhelmed during times of large deployments.
Be aware that the Students' Attorney Program can prepare certain documents that are of great importance for student reservists being called up. These types of documents are wills and various types of powers-of-attorney. The documents can give you peace of mind in regard to taking care of your affairs before deployment and powers of attorney, in particular, can be used by your loved ones to continue to manage your business while you are unable to.
Also, be aware that as a reservist called to active duty you will automatically be granted all of the rights provided to active duty personnel under the federal Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act and the 2003 amendments to this Act now commonly known as the Service members Civil Relief Act. For instance, did you know that if you signed a lease agreement as a student and then are called to active duty during the lease, you can get out of the lease and in most cases your deposit will be returned to you. Another important right a student reservist might not be aware of is that if called to active duty, the interest rate on any credit card balances owed will drop to 6%. These are examples of the many, many rights that are specifically set out in the Relief Acts.
Because of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the American Bar Association launched a project called Operation Enduring LAMP (Legal Assistance for Military Personnel). Project LAMP developed a brochure outlining a serviceman or woman's rights under the Soldiers' and Sailors' Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (another federal law that sets out military personnel's rights).
This brochure can be read or downloaded from the American Bar Association's website.
The Students' Attorney Program also has these brochures available in print form.