Kirtland holds “Know Your Rights” Town Hall

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- A Know Your Rights Town hall was held at the Kirtland Air Force Base Theater, July 10.

John Anderson, U.S. Attorney for the district of New Mexico, spoke to service members on the federal laws that are put in place to protect them, and provided real world examples of offenders of those laws being prosecuted.

“I thank you all deeply for your service to our country, we are here to support you likewise in your rights as service members,” said Anderson.

Among the laws covered were the Service Members Civil Relief Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

These laws allow military members to terminate leases early if they receive orders, protects their jobs in case of call to military service and allows them to vote wherever they happen to be stationed, among many other protections.

After Anderson’s explanation of the laws, audience members were able to ask questions to Erin Langenwalter, assistant U.S. Attorney of the district of New Mexico, and Tanya Kirwan, Service Members and Veteran Initiative assistant director, on how the laws apply to them.

“This was an opportunity for people to ask questions and get specific answers as well as to be more aware of their rights as service members,” said Capt. Matthew Henry, 377th Air Base Wing chief of military justice. “Also, it helped people to become aware of the resources available to them that they can use in the event their rights have been violated, to make sure the people who violated those rights are then brought to justice.”