By | 03/04/2013

Michael Gaffney, one of the founders of the MLTF and a long-time member, passed away last month. Michael served on the Task Force steering committee for a number of years, was a frequent contributor to On Watch, and could always be counted on to help with pro bono cases. We will miss his insightful analysis of military policy, his deep commitment to the rights of servicemembers and veterans, and his considerable patience with and kindness to those of us who turned to him for guidance in cases and projects.

The obituary below appeared in the Washington Post on February 26.

Michael James Gaffney, formerly of Framingham, MA, passed away on February 14, 2013 after a long struggle with Multiple Sclerosis. He attended both public and private schools there. At the time of his death he was residing and practicing law in Silver Springs, MD. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Viet Nam. After his discharge from service, he received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. In 1976 he earned his Jurist Doctor from Antioch School of Law. He was a founding member of the Military Law Task Force (MLTF) of the National Lawyers Guild dedicated to the rights of veterans and was Counsel to the Viet Nam’s Veteran’s Association (VVA).

Michael was pre-deceased by his wife Naimah, his step-daughter April, and his mother, father and brother, John. He leaves behind two sisters, Kathleen and Heather, three brothers, Brian, Neylan and Collin, his sister-in-law, Evelin, his step-son Robert and numerous nieces and nephews. He is remembered as a loving and caring brother and one who devoted his professional career to assisting veterans.

He will be interred at the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne, MA with his brother.

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About Kathleen Gilberd

Kathleen Gilberd is a legal worker in San Diego, California, working in the areas of discharges and discharge review. She is the Executive Director of The Military Law Task Force. She works extensively with the San Diego Military Counseling Project and serves on the board of directors of the national GI Rights Network. She is the author (with Majorie Cohn) of 'Rules of Disengagement: the Politics and Honor of Military Dissent'. She was also the contributing author in Clark Boardman Callahan’s 'Sexual Orientation and the Law'. Her website can be found at KathleenGilberd.com.