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Feel Good Friday: Law Firm Helps Up by Their Bootstraps Help Our Veterans


— December 29, 2017

Up by Their Bootstraps, an Arizona organization, is dedicated to giving our Veterans a “hand up, not a handout.” This week’s Feel Good Friday showcases this wonderful organization, and a Texas law firm that wants to help.


No matter what your political affiliations, there is one solid truth that cannot be denied: we Americans enjoy many freedoms. As one saying goes, “Freedom isn’t Free,” and there are those who pay the price so that we may be safe, happy, and secure. Those brave men and women who pay that price are our servicewomen and servicemen in the Armed Forces. They pay this price with their duty, their time, and often their lives. Yet, despite their sacrifices, when their duty is done and they join the ranks of fellow Veterans, they sometimes find returning to civilian life challenging. Jobs may be hard to find, their service may have left them facing serious health issues, and other obstacles they should not have to face after giving so much. Enter Up by Their Bootstraps, an Arizona organization dedicated to giving our Veterans a “hand up, not a handout.” This week’s Feel Good Friday showcases this wonderful organization, and a Texas law firm that wants to help.

Up by Their Bootstraps is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to working on the issues faced by Veterans and their families. The following comes from their Facebook page:

“We believe that the men and women who have served or are serving our country deserve to have the security of a home, employment options and reliable transportation. Up by Their Bootstraps gives a ‘Hand Up, not a Handout’ by providing several programs to ensure these needs are met for our Veterans.” The organization is committed to doing so in “a dignified and honorable manner.”

Up by Their Bootstraps logo; image courtesy Up by Their Bootstraps.
Up by Their Bootstraps logo; image courtesy Up by Their Bootstraps.

Based in Goodyear, Arizona, Up by Their Bootstraps was founded in 1983 by Jay and Frances Humphrey who have worked tirelessly for our Veterans since then.

There is a special place called Gratitude Corner where the organization – and the public – can “honor the memory of service members and their families who have sacrificed to protect the freedom we enjoy.” One such way is by signing a wall in honor of a family member or friend who is a Veteran.

The meaning of Gratitude Corner; image courtesy Up by Their Bootstraps.
The meaning of Gratitude Corner; image courtesy Up by Their Bootstraps.

Some of the needs Up by Their Bootstraps meets are more concrete. The perfect example is an event the organization held earlier this month, the December Car Giveaway. The team met at the east side of a local VA hospital, appropriately under the flagpole. The vehicle was provided by Jones Ford, a local dealership, and was given to a Veteran in need of transportation.

How does Up by Their Bootstraps do all the things they do for our Veterans? Hard work, dedication, and the support of generous donors. Without this kind support, the work would be much harder.

Now comes a Texas law firm with a strong commitment to helping our Veterans. Justinian & Associates PLLC, with offices in the Austin area, has partnered with Up by Their Bootstraps to help raise funds for the organization’s good works.

The firm’s dedication to helping our Veterans doesn’t stop with a financial contribution, either. One of Justinian & Associates attorneys, Amber Pang Parra, is also accredited to represent injured Veterans appealing disability determinations. As many know, our Veterans are often made to jump through hoops upon hoops to get the benefits they’ve earned.

The firm’s owner, Justinian C. Lane, believes that the brave women and men who have given so much for so many should be able to enjoy all of the freedoms for which they fought so hard for the rest of us. To that end, he has made a generous offer that I am pleased to present to you, our readers.

Justinian & Associates will match our readers’ donations to Up by Their Bootstraps up to $500.00.

If you can find it in your heart to give to our brave Veterans, please visit Up by Their Bootstraps’ donation link here. In order for the organization to receive matching donations, please email proof of your donation (a screenshot, etc.) to me at: jay@legalreader.com. I’ll forward everything to Justinian & Associates.

Every little bit helps and the cause is honorable. We can enjoy the coming New Year’s celebrations in peace thanks to the sacrifices made by our Veterans.

I’d like to leave you all with a poem, found on the organization’s Facebook page, that sums up the dedication, honor, and sacrifices of these brave women and men.

“’Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone, in a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney with presents to give, and to see just who in this home did live.

I looked all about, a strange sight I did see, no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand, on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds, a sober thought came through my mind.

For this house was different, it was dark and dreary, I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone, curled up on the floor in this one-bedroom home.

The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder, not how I pictured a United States soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I’d just read? Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

I realized the families that I saw this night, owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.

Soon ‘round the world, the children would play, and grown-ups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year, because of the soldiers like the on lying here.

I couldn’t help but wonder how many lay alone, on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye, I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,

‘Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice. I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more, my life is my God, my country, my corps.’

The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep. I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent and still, and we both shivered from the cold night’s chill.

I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark night, this Guardian of Honor so willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure, whispered, ‘Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all is secure.’

One look at my watch and I knew he was right. ‘Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.’”

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