Thanks to everyone who linked the Memorial Day Blawg Review special this week. Many law bloggers wrote thoughtful posts remembering courageous men and women in the military who died in service to their country, including relatives, friends, and colleagues. Throughout the week, we updated our Memorial Day post to include references to the remembrances of many law bloggers.
Law blog readers also responded, in emails to Blawg Review, expressing appreciation for our special focus on Memorial Day, which included the remembrances by lawyers now on active duty, like Phillip Carter.
For many of us, it was a reminder that lawyers go to war.
Hundreds of the military’s nearly 9,000 active-duty and reserve attorneys serve in Iraq and Afghanistan today.As noted by Bob Ambrogi in Lawyers, Bloggers and Memorial Day, "in all walks of life, law included, there are those who carry with them every day the scars and memories of military service, invisible to the rest of us."
It takes a lot of lawyers to fight a war.
The war on terrorism is "rich in legal issues," said Brig. Gen. Kevin Sandkuhler, the Marine Corps’ top lawyer. "A new issue seems to come up each week."
Military lawyers – known as judge advocate generals in most services and judge advocates in the Marine Corps – work in command posts, advising superiors whether a mosque is a legitimate target for a satellite-guided bomb or when troops can fire their weapons.
Some assist the prosecution of insurgents in Iraq and enemy combatants at Guantanamo, while a few defend detainees, appealing their cases all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Many have guided the formation of governments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Others pay out claims for deaths, injuries and property damage caused by American troops; participate in courts-martial or help soldiers deal with divorce and income tax problems.
One Army JAG has died in action; several have suffered wounds.
"I never expected to award a Purple Heart to one of my attorneys," said Sandkuhler. So far, six Marine judge advocates have received Purple Hearts.