On November 8, 2019, over 400 supporters of Swords to Plowshares gathered at the 23rd Annual Veterans Day Dinner to pay tribute to our veterans and celebrate the strides made towards ending veteran homelessness. Swords to Plowshares is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the rights of veterans through advocacy, public education, and partnerships. This year’s annual Veterans Day Dinner raised over $450, 000 to support critical services for homeless and low-income veterans and their families.
During the dinner, the firm was presented with the 2019 Pro Bono Partner of the Year Award in recognition of our long-standing partnership and our work on a headline-grabbing case, Vietnam Veterans of America v. CIA. United States Marine Corps veteran Bruce Calderon was also honored with the Profiles of Courage award. San Francisco litigation partner Stacey Sprenkel, who worked on the class action and served for eight years on the board of Swords to Plowshares, accepted the honor on behalf of the firm.
In that case, the MoFo team represented a class of veterans who had participated in a secret chemical and biological agents testing program while they were in service. The award recognized the MoFo team’s success in getting a precedent-setting order requiring the Army to inform the veterans of the details and health effects of the experiments and to provide medical care for conditions caused by this participation.
“Although it was a lengthy legal battle with the federal government, we were grateful that we were able partner with Swords to Plowshares in getting critical information and access to healthcare for thousands of veterans who, over a period of decades, had been unwittingly used by the military as human test subjects for toxic and biological substances,” said Stacey. “I am proud that MoFo actively encourages lawyers from the firm to work on important matters on behalf of veterans.”
For nearly 20 years, MoFo has proudly supported Swords to Plowshares, providing pro bono legal services in impact litigation matters like this class action, legal clinics, and full representation of veterans’ cases. Swords to Plowshares was founded in 1974 and is dedicated to providing low-income, homeless, and at-risk veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area access to counseling and case management, rapid re-housing and eviction prevention services, employment and training, supportive housing, and legal benefits assistance.
Learn more about Swords to Plowshares and their work here.
Photos courtesy of Kyle Ludowitz.