MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — Student attorneys in WVU Law's Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic recently helped a former Army Ranger pursue his dream of becoming a medical doctor.
Third-year students Brad DeFlumeri and Alex Jonese represented Jeremy Marx, who served six deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan as a medic in the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Being responsible for the lives of fellow soldiers inspired Marx to become a doctor. After retiring from the Army, he was admitted to Georgetown University School of Medicine and was awarded a scholarship from the Pat Tillman Foundation.
The scholarship defrayed some of the costs of medical school, but significant expenses remained, so Marx applied for Post-9/11 GI Bill educational benefits. He had already earned his bachelor’s degree on the GI Bill, but was entitled to additional benefits because of injuries he received on active duty.
However, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) denied Marx’s claim on the grounds that he was was previously qualified for an occupation other than medicine. To make matters worse, Marx’s family had already relocated from Dallas, Texas, to Washington, DC, because of medical school.
That’s when Marx sought help from the WVU Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic and DeFlumeri and Jonese took the case. They filed an appeal and won when the VA reversed its decision in February.
Marx is now pursuing his dream of a career in medicine — a career, he says, that will include serving the military community as a volunteer for the VA.
“Being able to help Jeremy prevail on appeal is something I will be proud of for the rest of my life,” said Jonese, who comes from a military family. “Jeremy’s case, like far too many benefits decisions made by the VA, represented bureaucratic unfairness at its worst. He is an amazing person and helping him qualify for this benefit was the least we could do for him.”
Jonese and DeFlumeri were supervised by attorney L.G. Corder, an Army veteran and 2012 WVU College of Law graduate who works with the Veterans Advocacy Clinic.-WVU-