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Law Center Salutes Veterans

November 12, 2013 — Lt. (Ret.) Brandon Stone’s (L’15) path to law school was a courageous one. After graduating from Ohio State in 2004, he served in the Navy for almost eight years, working with SEAL Team TEN in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa. While leading others through a Taliban stronghold, he was severely wounded from an improvised explosive device, earning a Purple Heart along with a Bronze Star with Valor for his heroism.

 Still, he says he’s uncomfortable with the idea of people thanking him for his service on Veterans Day. “That’s mostly because I’ve had the good fortune to see what real service and sacrifice looks like,” said Stone. 

Stone, who spoke on behalf of current student veterans, received a standing ovation at Georgetown Law’s Veterans Day Program and reception on November 11. The program honored Law Center students who have served in the military and alumni and friends who are supporting them through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon Program, part of the post-9/11 GI Bill. 

The VA’s Yellow Ribbon program — championed by former Sen. Jim Webb (L’75), D-Va. — allows institutions of higher learning to fund tuition and fee expenses above and beyond the GI Bill and matches the school’s contribution.

Thanks to contributions from Yellow Ribbon supporters like former FBI director Louis Freeh, a Georgetown parent, the Law Center increased its maximum Yellow Ribbon contribution this year from $2,500 to $10,000. 

Freeh, who served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps, appeared on the Veterans Day panel along with Stone and three alumni veterans: Maj. Gen. Steven Joseph Lepper (L’91), the Deputy Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Air Force; Yvette Wood Bourcicot (L’08), special assistant to the army general counsel and a retired major in the U.S. Air Force; and Simon Latcovich (L’06), a former surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy.

“Over the years this great university has contributed treasure and talent to the defense of our great country,” said Freeh. While many of us do not know people killed in the line of duty, he said, “we all know veterans, from our schools, our workplaces, from our religious and social organizations, and we have affinity and a love and respect for them which is very durable and very personal … you have to be struck with the enormity of the sacrifice.”

The audience included some of the more than 50 student veterans and 13 Yellow Ribbon beneficiaries currently attending the Law Center. “Some students arrive here at Georgetown fresh from the fields of battle, from the decks of aircraft carriers, the cockpits of jets and from rubble-strewn roadways cratered by IEDs …” said Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor, who hosted the event (opened by four students in the ROTC Color Guard from the Hoya Battalion). “They live lifetimes before they even step through our doors.”

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