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For nearly 50 years, The Carlson Law Firm has called several Texas military communities from Fort Hood to Lackland home. As a result, we have represented thousands of military servicemembers and their families. In addition, many of our attorneys began their legal careers in the military. Since we opened our doors as a small law office in Killeen, we have grown beyond Texas, where we continue to serve veterans nationwide.

Many of our attorneys and staff are Veterans who carry the core values of leadership, merit and honor. Our team carries the lessons learned in the military to this day. We have won huge settlements for military clients suffering brain injuries, hearing loss, blindness and even wrongful death. 

In addition to providing legal assistance to the Veteran community, we proudly support several non-profit Veteran organizations, including the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA), where we assist those injured in serious motorcycle crashes. In addition, we host a food truck rally where we serve veterans in the Killeen-Temple area a free lunch. 

While we have humble beginnings in Killeen, The Carlson Law Firm has grown beyond Texas, where we represent America’s bravest and their families nationwide.

No matter where the military takes you, The Carlson Law Firm will be there.

As a Veteran Owned & Operated law firm, we pursue various legal claims to ensure servicemembers receive the justice they deserve. We have represented active duty and retired military in the following mass torts:

  • Camp Lejeune
  • EFP/IED & State-Sponsored Terrorism Lawsuits 
  • PFAS water contamination claims
  • Defective Military Earplugs lawsuits against 3M
  • Defective Philips CPAP machines issued to several military members
  • Helped Veterans recover GI Bill losses from for-profit colleges like DeVry and the University of Phoenix

Today, we highlight the contributions made by the service members from every branch of the military—including the military veterans on our team.

Craig Carlson – Managing Partner

Managing partner Craig Carlson served as the Chief of Legal Assistance, Chief of U.S. Army Clain and Senior Trial Counsel in the U.S. Army JAG Corp from 1989-1992 at Fort Devens. He moved on to be stationed in Fort Hood, where he served as the Senior Trial Defense Counsel from 1992-1994.

Steve Walden – Partner

Steve Walden served in the U.S. Army as an enlisted member from 1987-1990, and served in the Florida and Georgia National Guard from 1990-1997 while in college and law school. 

“I decided to serve my country because all of the men in my family have served. Each one of them enjoyed their military experience and shared their stories with me growing up. I looked up to these men and naturally, I wanted my own stories.

Then I served as a commissioned officer in the Army from 1998-2001. I began my military career in artillery, moved into infantry and Judge Advocate General’s Corp.

As a judge advocate, I worked in legal assistance, operations law and was a prosecutor for both military crimes and civilian offenses that occurred on Army property. 

The military taught me that working as a team can multiply your strengths, but can also do the same for weakness. Encouraging and building up your teammates is the path to success. In addition, I learned a great deal about people in general. In the military, you live alongside members from all walks of life and experiences. This experience helps me relate better to the clients I serve and the juries to who I argue.

The military has its own language and culture. It’s not something you can just learn but requires experience to understand. Knowing the pay and benefits system, rank structure, and daily requirements gives me an understanding of all the options I can explore for the benefit of my client. Regardless of the type of case, I use my own experiences to get the best result for the Service Members I represent.

Before coming to Fort Hood, I was stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.”

Todd Kelly – Partner

“As the son of a veteran, I was encouraged by my father to join the military. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps on July 10, 1987, I began my military service as a combat engineer until attending law school. I was on active duty during Desert Storm, but did not deploy to Iraq. When I returned to the fleet, I served as a judge advocate until I left the active service as a Major on May 20, 1998. That is exactly 10 years, 10 months and 10 days of service. But who’s counting?

As a Marine, I was stationed in several locations:

  • Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station, Hawaii (Engineer Detachment Commander, BSSG-1; and Commanding General’s Staff: Human Affairs Officer)
  • Cherry Point, North Carolina (Engineer Officer, MWSS-271)
  • Carlisle, Pennsylvania (Student judge advocate at Dickinson Law)
  • Marine Corps Base, Hawaii (Judge Advocate, Legal Service Center Criminal Defense Team)
  • Marine Casualty Center, Fairfax Virginia (Marine Corps Casualty Officer)

While serving as a judge advocate, I was a criminal defense attorney until assigned as the Marine Corps’ Casualty Officer. 

I understand the unique challenges faced by military families and the sacrifices that they make for the safety of us all. I have lived it, and I have represented those who lived it. 

As a Marine Officer, I swore to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. As the attack on our right to trial by jury in civil cases remains under constant attack, I believe that this oath that I have lived for the past 31 years has guided me in the fight for civil justice and for rights in civil courtrooms. Too many of our brethren have paid the ultimate price for the protection of our system of laws for us to merely throw it away to those with money and power. We must hold them accountable when they hurt people. Despite the obstacles, that is our duty.”

Nathan Kennedy – Partner

“I decided to join the military because my father served 22 years active duty in the Navy and my grandfather was a Korean War Army veteran. In 1999, I was awarded an ROTC scholarship and began active duty in the U.S. Army in October 2007. I served from October 2007 until July 2012 and was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. 

I served a full year in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom from January 2009 through January 2010. In my time in Iraq, I was a prosecutor for the 1st Cavalry Division.

When I returned to Fort Hood, I was a criminal defense attorney. My military experience prepared me for practicing law because of the number of cases I tried to verdict. I know what it means to wear a uniform. Because of this, my military clients get the best representation possible. 

I received wartime awards, including a Bronze Star and a Combat Action Badge.” 

Happy Veterans Day to Those Serving and Those Who Served

In addition to our partners, we have several associate attorneys and legal staff who served in the military or have some connection to a service member. We are proud to have these former service members and their loved ones on our team to help area soldiers and veterans with their legal needs. 

Thank you veterans, we greatly appreciate your service!

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