Attorney Robert Lee Aston, of Elberton, Georgia, has taken some tough cases of late. Each new defendant is a powerful bureaucracy, and each new client is tough and uncompromising.
Actually, each new defendant is the same: the United States military, and each new client is a World War II veteran. As the Greatest Generation ages, it wants the recognition it’s due, especially if such came at the cost of great personal sacrifice. And so Aston, himself a veteran of the Army Air Corps, has signed up a good deal of new business representing other veterans seeking the medals, honors, and recognition they’re due.
To date, Aston has helped 63 veterans secure overdue honors, from a Distinguished Service Cross to his own Silver Star. “Obtaining a medal is largely a documentary process,” Aston says. Veterans must prove their gallantry and risk before a formal board of review, which rejects almost all honors petitions. What follows is an appeal, at which Aston excels. If things go well there, medals are forthcoming.
“What I enjoy most is the thank-yous and the gratitude,” Aston says. “They are so happy about it.”