Recognizing Veterans' Accomplishments and Sacrifices

November 12, 2015 —

“Our student veterans have lived lifetimes before they even step through our doors, and they enrich our community immensely,” said Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor at the annual Veterans Day program and reception on November 11. Alumni, faculty and students gathered in the Gewirz Student center to recognize three members of the Georgetown family for their outstanding commitments to public service. 

Joseph McDade Jr. (F’85, L’88), principal deputy general counsel of the Air Force, approached the podium and asked the veterans in attendance to raise their hands if they volunteered to serve their country. Many hands went up. “Wow, look around folks. … We are lucky to have people like this here with us tonight,” said McDade. He noted that the “military today is at an inflection point,” expected to do more with significantly fewer resources. “When we think about our commitment to our country, please let’s think about what we do, that sacred obligation to make sure that our men and women wearing the uniform today and those who will be wearing uniforms in the future have the best possible equipment, organization and training to be successful wherever they can go.”

Mary Fletcher (MA’93, L’01), chief of the Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Division in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, said she “would rarely see another woman around campus” when she first arrived at West Point. Fletcher was also in a nearly all-male environment when she served as an air defense artillery officer leading a 60-man platoon. Her military career prepared her for the “intellectual challenges” she faced at Georgetown Law, she said. Fletcher praised the Law Center's program of extending "a helping hand, making it possible [for veterans] to pursue their ambitions," and also noted how the program "enriches the school itself by having these individuals as part of the student body."

Sgt. Maj. Theodore Bessa (L’18), formerly a U.S. Army Ranger, spoke about the importance of programs like the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which allowed him to attend Georgetown Law after eight tours of service. “Obviously, I’m not your normal first-year law student,” said Bessa, who served in the Army for 25 years before applying to law school. “When I raise my glass to fellow veterans, I toast not only their accomplishments but also their sacrifices.”

This event was organized by Georgetown Law’s Military Law Society.

Click here to find out more about the Yellow Ribbon program.

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