Straight Talk From a Former Army Wife
IRR Delay and Exemption
To "former" army spouses who want to keep it that way . . .
When my husband, a former Chemical officer, received orders mobilizing him to active duty from the IRR I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It seemed too ridiculous to believe. He'd done a deployment to the sandbox. He'd fought a stop-loss to get out and now after two years of us finally getting to be in one spot they were calling him back. I knew it wasn't personal, he's just a name on a list, but after 8 years of war and policies like these I couldn't seem to convince my heart that someone down in headquarters wasn't sitting there planning how to best screw up the life we had just managed to put back together. I was angry. I used words that proper ladies aren't supposed to know. I cried. But curses and tears don't solve problems. People solve problems. People like Bill Meili.
We contacted Bill about a week after my husband received the orders. We had been searching for IRR lawyers and Bill certainly stood out. Nonetheless we were cautious. The last thing we wanted was to pay big bucks to fail. Having fought for an exception to stop-loss in 2006 we knew that we were capable of filing our own case but it would mean a lot of work for us and we had no guarantee that we would win. Bill was upfront and honest with us. He told us exactly what he would charge, no hourly fees, no fine print just a flat rate. It was a lot of money and we told him we'd think about it and asked for references. Between the satisfied clients and his record of success we didn't have to think about it very long.
Obviously we decided it was worth the cost. We are both busy working on our PhDs. What we really could not afford was the lost time and opportunities that mobilization would cause. We needed a successful exception; Bill could and did provide that. Putting together an exception packet is not trivial. We have demanding jobs and little free time. We needed the best possible packet with the least possible work. Bill had the expertise to make that happen. He listened to our story, told us what we needed to do, kept in touch while we worked on our tasks, and put together a detailed, exhaustive packet for submission. What we couldn't afford was another year of transition when he returned, of his trying to find a job or to get started with school (again), another year before he was back to normal. What we couldn't afford was for my husband to lose the opportunity to finish his degree, for him to get hurt, for him to be killed in action. The truth was we couldn't afford not to hire Bill.
Bill Meili did a great job handling my husband's case. He was prompt and professional. He knows the regulations inside and out; he knows how to make your packet succeed. It was obvious that he cared about helping the soldiers that he represents and was a pleasure to work with. Most importantly, Bill gets results. Good luck to you all.
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I contacted Col. Meili as a fellow practitioner to gain some context and perspective on a pretty complex set of issues. Because I practice in a different field of law, Col. Meili's extensive expertise was invaluable and he was more than generous with his time. A skilled and dedicated professional who cares deeply about obtaining the best possible outcome for his clients, Bill's a leader in this field.
- Steffen Chapin
After an exhaustive search of military attorneys, I came across the name of Bill Meili. From my first email exchange and telephone call, I knew that Bill was the right person to handle my case. I had discussed my unique circumstance with a handful of other attorneys who felt it may be too difficult to achieve the outcome that I was seeking - but Bill was interested in me and my case, and wholeheartedly believed that we had the ball in our court. I could tell that Bill cared about me as a person and soldier, not just viewing me as a paycheck.
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