HISTORY OF UAP
In November 2005, retired Marine Corps Major Bill Donahue saw six Marines accused of killing Iraqi civilians being treated like convicted felons before they were even tried. The images of them in hand and leg irons, prior to any finding of guilt, saddened and offended the Major, who had seen combat, and was awarded the Purple Heart, more than once during his service in Vietnam.
Maj. Donahue decided right then and there he would do something to ensure the Haditha Marines had the best legal representation accessible. Of course, the accused enjoyed free legal counsel from uniformed Marine and/or Naval Judge Advocates, however, given the severe penalties at stake and the fact that these allegations occurred during the “fog of war,” Maj. Donahue believed the Marines deserved legal counsel with more experience than the six to eight years of exclusive military justice experience a uniformed Judge Advocate could bring to the fight.
United American Patriots (UAP, Inc.), a Northern Virginia based non-profit organization designated under IRS regulation 501(c)(3), whose “Warrior Fund” mission is to provide resources to service members accused of crime in combat: the idea being our volunteers who serve in harm’s way to protect our United States Constitution and American way of life, deserve the most pristine of trials – especially every constitutional right they have served to protect.
Almost 14 years later, UAP’s Board of Directors continue to screen service member applications for support to ensure an applicant’s case meets the “Warrior Fund” criteria. Upon acceptance of a case (many are rejected), UAP provides financial support for the legal fees and expenses, a small stipend for the clients to use while they are incarcerated, and funds to help off-set the client’s family travel to see them. In return, the client’s attorney must submit a monthly report keeping UAP’s Board updated. The attorneys who represent UAP clients voluntarily discount their standard rates, and often “write-off” legal services as pro bono, which are also in-kind contributions to UAP’s mission. These attorneys are ordinarily former military officers and private practitioners who bring perspective, experience, and capability to rigorously defend UAP’s clients.
UAP works with professional fundraising organizations to generate contributions for each service member, and uses those funds for attorneys’ fees, court costs, for family members to travel to the penitentiary and/or court hearings, and, for those released from confinement, UAP funds reintegration efforts like vocational training, psychological counseling, and offers stipends for housing and necessities.
Over the past thirteen years, UAP’s sponsorship has helped dozens of combat Service members defend themselves at trial, upon appeal, and before military boards to upgrade discharges, thereby positioning these warriors for successes in civilian life.
United American Patriot’s 5-year plan includes expanding the Warrior Fund mission to take on military cases where unlawful command influence infringes on an accused’s constitutional rights and seeking Uniform Code of Military Justice reform to create a presumption that combat shots are presumed “good shots.”
UAP generates positive public awareness and support for our Nation’s Warriors, their Constitutional Rights, and their Families, via public speaking engagements, presentations, and panel discussions; interactions with Senators, Congressmen, and their staff on Capitol Hill; messaging via social media; and crafting & distributing letters, press releases, and information graphics.