In the News

Dykema Pro Bono Engagement Supports Veterans and Active-Duty Military

November 11, 2021

The San Antonio Business Journal recently recognized J. Patrick (“Pat”) Ryan with one of its 2021 Veterans in Business awards for his leadership in leading Dykema’s pro bono efforts supporting Sound Off, a program assisting veterans and active-duty military personnel with mental healthcare issues through a voice-over-internet online platform. In addition to being profiled by the San Antonio Business Journal, Ryan was honored during a special event on Thursday, November 4, 2021.

Working with Sound Off and its management team (most of whom are also veterans), Ryan and fellow Dykema team members Jerry Aben and Serj Mooradian draw on their collective healthcare, privacy, and technology experience to structure and prepare program documents such as privacy policies, terms of use, partner agreements, and sponsorship agreements for this critically needed service for military veterans. Dykema alumna Kathy Kudner was also instrumental in Dykema’s earliest work with Sound Off.

In each of the last two years, Sound Off recognized Dykema for its work at its annual, “San Antonio Answers the Call: Supporting Veterans on Their Terms” event.

With many veterans and active-duty military hesitant to seek assistance with mental health, for a variety of reasons, Sound Off is available to provide free, confidential counseling resources on an anonymous basis. The program enlists both licensed mental health professionals and “Battle Buddies,” trained veterans or active-duty service members who have walked the same path.

According to Sound Off, tragically, about 17 veterans per day commit suicide. Nearly half of veterans deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq who suffer from PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, or major depression do not seek help. You can learn about Sound Off's origin and mission by watching this three-minute CBS Evening News segment, which aired earlier this week. They were also featured in a San Antonio Report article in September.