Press Release June 02, 2009

Honoring Our Veterans: Attorneys & Staff Celebrate Loved Ones

Thomas Griffin, Jr., Boston Litigation Partner

Goodwin Procter employees have a long-standing tradition of honoring friends and family who have served in the military. In celebration of Memorial Day, we asked attorneys and staff, "Who will you honor this Memorial Day and why?"

Thomas Griffin, Jr., a Litigation Partner in our Boston office, shared the following story:

"My Dad enlisted in the Marine Corps the day after Pearl Harbor. Dad talked only rarely about his service. I pieced together his wartime story from our few talks on the subject, from his medal commendation and local newspaper clippings, and from seeing the scars from his wounds.

"After basic training at Camp LeJeune, NC, Dad was assigned to the First Marine Division and promoted to corporal. In the summer of 1942, after only six months in the Corps, Dad was part of the first wave of Marines who landed on Guadalcanal, a Japanese-held island in the Pacific, in one of the first U.S. offensive strikes after Pearl Harbor. After weeks of savage fighting which saw Dad's best friend in the Corps shot and killed one night while they defended their foxhole, Dad himself became a casualty as his lower right leg was peppered with hand grenade shrapnel. His military career, barely 8 months long, was over. After a stay in a military hospital, Dad returned home to Brookline, Ma, married his sweetheart and started a family.

"This patriotic former Marine served proudly and with distinction, but he was, most of all, a Dad who wanted so much to spare his son from the Vietnam War so his son would not have to experience the horrors of war he had endured. Dad passed in 1980."

Is there someone in the military who you would like to celebrate? If so, please tell us your story.

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