Next week will be an important week for our country as we elect a new President of the United States. While Election Day looms large, I encourage us to reflect on what follows three days later—Veterans Day. At BU Law, we support our students who are veterans through the Yellow Ribbon Program, and educate law students preparing to enter the service as military lawyers.
Among our current students are veterans Billy Wilson (’18) and Kenneth Meador (’18). Billy served nine years in the Marines as a helicopter pilot who flew missions in Afghanistan and the South Pacific. As a 2L student, he is active in the BU Veterans Association, as well as the International Law Society, Legal Follies, and Older Wiser Law Students (OWLS).
Kenneth enlisted in the US Army in 2002 and served three tours in Iraq as a combat medic before returning home to Oklahoma to attend college on the GI Bill. After his first year at BU Law, he earned a prestigious Rappaport Fellowship, which enabled him to complete a summer internship at the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services.
Many of our alumni have served our country, and we have been honored to recognize several of them with Silver Shingle Awards: US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Robert P. Chatham (’99), US Navy Lieutenant Commander Jacob Romelhardt (’05), and US Army Reserve Major General (ret.) Stephen D. Tom (’74).
Lt. Colonel Chatham is the staff judge advocate for the19th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas. In his most recent deployment to Afghanistan, he earned the Bronze Star for his work with the Afghan Ministry of Justice, Attorney General, and Supreme Court, as well as the US Embassy, United Nations, and European Union, to rebuild the rule of law in that war-torn country.
Lt. Commander Romelhardt is the staff judge advocate for a major naval operation in San Diego, where he trains aircraft carrier strike groups in international law and rules of engagement. During his 11-year naval career, he has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, taught at the US Naval Academy, and served as criminal defense counsel in military court.
While on active duty, Major General Tom (ret.) was stationed with the US Pacific Command in Honolulu, where he served as commander of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, a US Defense Department joint task force with the mission of accounting for Americans listed as prisoners of war or missing in action from past wars and conflicts.
We are honored that BU Law has educated both former and past members of the military. And we say thank you to all veterans for their service to our country.