The lawyers in this association do not just serve their clients. They serve the community and our nation. In 2015, we are honoring those LLA members who serve or have served in the Armed Forces.
In October, LLA President Elect Robert Cronin learned that he would be going to basic training last week and not returning until the end of March. We wish Bob well as he goes through the next few months. This is an excellent reason to recognize Bob and those other members who serve or have served in the military.
The Veterans who chose to be recognized (other member veterans chose to avoid recognition) are as follows. Unfortunately not everyone listed could be present at the banquet, but all LLA veterans received the members' thanks and recognition.
Senator E. Eugene Yaw. Senator Yaw served in the U.S. Army from 1964-1968. He achieved the Rank of First Lieutenant. Gene said that his little know fact is that he enlisted in the Army as a private.
Charles A. Szybist. He served in the Air Force in 1953 and achieved the rank of Second Lieutenant.
Kurt Schmitt. Kurt served with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 2013. He is an officer candidate. Kurt enlisted at age 34, one year before he was too old to do so.
Timothy A.B. Reitz. Tim served in the Navy in active duty for two years from September 1994 through September 1996 with the Rank of E3 seaman. The "non incriminating fact" that most people do not know about Tim is that he joined the Navy because that recruiter was the only one who could cure his asthma during his service. Tim’s family was all Marines in the past, but they could not or would not “cure” his asthma, so the Navy it was. Tim is also a certified Shellback meaning he crossed the equator.
John E. Person, III. John served in the Army National Guard and Reserves for 13 years from 1970 to 1983. He achieved the rank of captain.
William E. Nichols, Sr. He served in the Navy for three years from June 1951 to June 1954 during the Korean War as a Lieutenant. Bill served on the USS Gearing DD 710 (a Destroyer) as its anti-submarine warfare officer and its legal officer.
C. Edward S. Mitchell. Ed served in the Army for five years. He was in active duty from August 1965 through August 1967 and then active reserve from August 1967 through August 1970. Ed was commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation from college in June 1965. His highest rank was captain. Ed shared some fascinating information. After basic training in Virginia, he was assigned to 501st Transportation Company, 28th Transportation Battalion, in Mannheim, Germany. He became the CO of the 501st Transportation Company as second lieutenant five months later. The mission was to run convoys through Communist East Germany to occupied Berlin to maintain free allied access to the U.S., British and French sectors. Ed participated in occasional G2 (Intelligence) operations in Russian Sector of Berlin. He became the Adjutant and CO of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 28th Transportation Battalion in March 1967. His active reserve was three years in infantry unit in Carlisle, Pennsylvania while he was in law school.
Jeffrey A. Marshall. Jeff served in the Army for two years from 1969 to 1971. Jeff was a Specialist SP4. Jeff was trained as a medic but ended up working as a legal clerk. Jeff says that the change in his MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) was a good decision by the Army. He says he was a much better clerk than a medic; it’s safer to have him holding a pen than a needle.
J. Howard Langdon. Howard erved in the Army in 1973 and 1974 as a 1st Lieutenant. He spent his entire active duty service at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in a training unit as a tank platoon leader. Howard shared that the Army did not remember that he was a lawyer until the Israel/Arab war of October 1973 when he was briefly sent to New Orleans to write Last Will and Testaments for soldiers that might have to go to the Middle East. During the first days of the war, his tanks were painted to change the camouflage pattern from olive drab to desert sand. He was in the ROTC and received his commission in May 1971.
William L. Knecht. Bill served in the Army in active duty for two years from January 1971 until January 1973. Bill was a 1st Lieutenant. He was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky and served for a time under Deputy Post Commander General George S. Patton IV who was the son of the renowned World War II General Patton. For 10 months, Bill was an Executive Officer of an armored reconnaissance unit and was then assigned by General Patton to the Judge Advocate General Corps for 14 months. From time to time, while he was stationed at Fort Knox, Bill was occasionally in charge of post security which also provided supplemental security for the United States gold vault at Fort Knox. Bill was also privileged to receive a commission as an Honorable Kentucky Colonel as a result of one of his assignments in the JAG Corps.
Christopher H. Kenyon. Chris served in the Navy for five years from July 1997 through August 2002. He was a Petty Officer Second Class; E-5. Chris was a machinist mate (engine mechanic) by trade while he was in the navy, but he actually spent a majority of his service time working for three Navy judges as a paralegal. It was when Chris was working as a paralegal that he decided he wanted to go to law school.
John M. Humphrey. Jack was drafted into the Army at the height of the Vietnam War in June 1969 following his second year of law school at the University of Virginia. He was a Specialist 4th Class. Jack shared that after basic training, apparently because of his legal training (not to mention his size), he was sent to Fort Gordon, Georgia and trained as a Military Policeman. Of his graduating class of 160, all but 8 went to Vietnam – somehow (alphabetically he believes), he was ordered to Fort Dix, New Jersey. Upon reporting to the 759th MP Battalion at Fort Dix, he talked his way into the clerk’s office and ultimately became the Company Clerk. The only day of “military policeman” duty he served in his remaining time in the Army was some Saturday in 1970 when he, and 499 other MPs, were assigned to prevent Jane Fonda, and approximately 250 anti-war demonstrators, from breaching the boundaries of the Fort. They were successful, though Jack remembers being fearful that he would be photographed with Jane sticking a flower in the barrel of his M-16. Jack was discharged in June 1971, traveled around the country for three months and returned to UVA for his last year of law school. Jack recounts that overall his experience in the Army was life-changing and positive. He met and married Karen, his bride of 45 years. He would have never spent his career and the most important moments of his life here in Williamsport but for his experience in the Army.
Gary T. Harris. Gary served in the Army for almost two year from March 1968 through the end of December 1970. He left the Army as a First Lieutenant and returned to law school and started his second semester freshman year six days after leaving Vietnam. Gary had to review all of his first semester law school courses which he had taken three years earlier along with second semester courses in addition to finding a place to live for himself, his wife and daughter; a job for his wife, books and all the incidentals in about three days.
L. Craig Harris. Served in the Army for more than two years from November 1969 to July 1972. Craig was a Specialist SP5. He served in several United States bases only and did not have any overseas assignments. Craig served in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Oakdale Nike missile base and later in a Judge Advocate Office at a military hospital in Washington D.C.
Honorable Richard A. Gray. Judge Gray served in the Army from 1970 to 1972. He was a Specialist E5. Judge Gray had a secret clearance.
Michael H. Collins. Mike served in the Army from 1969 to 1975. He was a Staff Sergeant and a Drill Sergeant at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania.
Jonathan E. Butterfield. Jon served in the Army from July 1969 through February 1971. He was a Specialist 4. Jon was a combat medic in Vietnam and awarded a Bronze Star. Jon took part in the Cambodian Incursion.
Jonathan F. Bach. Jonathan was a four-year Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) scholarship recipient and attended Villanova University. He was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy in 1995. Jonathan was a Surface Warfare office from 1995 until 2002 where he served as a division officer in the engineering departments onboard the USS Portland and USS Nimitz. He was also stationed at the headquarters for the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet where he worked extensively in the community and public relations directorates. He made two deployments in support of our military operations overseas during his time in the Navy. He augmented into the Pennsylvania Air National Guard in 2009 where he joined the legal office at the 193rd Special Operations Wing located in Middletown, Pennsylvania. Jonathan currently serves as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel (O5).
Honorable Dudley N. Anderson. Judge Anderson was active duty Army for two years from July 1968 to July 1970. He was a Sergeant (E-5) for the last year of service. The unknown fact is that Judge Anderson had secured a job on Wall Street when he was drafted that was no longer there when he completed his service so he went to Law School. He said that therefore the last laugh is on you guys.
All of those recognized were given a gift by the LLA and applauded for their service to the United States of America.