KCMBF’s Military Matters is proud to shine the August #ProBonoSpotlight on Michael R. Thiessen, of Lewis Rice LLC.
Mike joined the Military Matters program as a volunteer when it was initially created. He has helped veterans through the program each year since its inception. “We get out of life what we invest in it. My volunteer work with veterans through Military Matters and other programs has rewarded me far more than any benefits to the people I have tried to assist.”
Mike is named after his father’s best friend and cousin, a young man who gave his life in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II, not far from where his father was also serving. “There were many people like the man I am named after who gave their lives so we can enjoy our freedoms.” Mike feels the need to do his part and uses his skills as an attorney to help veterans in difficult situations.
When he graduated from the Air Force Academy he was not qualified to be a pilot due to his height. So he attended Stanford Law School, which allowed him to challenge previously held assumptions. He served as a JAG officer (Judge Advocate General) at Richards Gebaur Air Force Base after law school and found he really enjoyed estate planning. After serving nine and a half years on active duty, he went into private practice. He remained in the Air Force Reserves, serving as a liaison officer for the Air Force Academy, primarily assisting with recruiting.
Mike was with Husch Blackwell and its predecessors for 21 years before joining Lewis Rice, where he practices today. Mike attributes much of any success he and his group have had assisting clients to his estate planning partner of 28 years, Lisa Veselich, whom Mike believes to be one of the best estate planners in the country.
Mike acknowledges his fellow attorneys who assist veterans, particularly Art Fillmore whose decades of efforts have led by example in supporting veterans. “I encourage everyone in the profession to volunteer time to those who did not start where we did or who have had unexpected challenges. It is incumbent on all of us to share our expertise and time.” Mike also encourages all former JAG officers who are not already active with Military Matters to dust off their skills and engage as they more than most have an understanding of veterans’ needs.
In between his practice and volunteering, Mike enjoys gardening, cooking, and traveling with his wife, Nancy, and enjoying their children and grandchildren. They have been married 51 years with three children and eight grandchildren. They also claim their foreign exchange daughter from South Africa as a fourth child, and her three children as additional grandchildren.
Thank you, Mike, for your dedication to KCMBF’s #MilitaryMatters!
Please visit the KCMBF Facebook Page to see the original post about Mike's service to Military Matters.