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Veterans Day 2021: Honoring Those Who Served

    Community, News
  • November 11, 2021

In the early 1950s, World War II veterans Francis Parker and Bill Poe became partners at our law firm. Their names and commitment to public service have been part of the fabric of the firm ever since.

On Veterans Day as our country honors all of those who have served, we at Parker Poe also want to specifically thank our attorneys and staff, past and present, who were willing "to serve and sacrifice for the common good," as the Department of Veterans Affairs puts it. We also want to thank the many family members of our attorneys and staff who have served our country.

Below are a few of our veterans and their stories. Most of them are pictured in the image at the top of this page. 

Name: Kendall Gilbert
Current Title at Parker Poe: Applications Administrator
Military Branch and Role: U.S. Marine Corps
Brief story from your time in the service: President Bush was flying into SFO and we were staged with Marine One ready to receive him off Air Force One and fly him to whatever engagement he was attending. This was post 9/11 and there were a lot of protesters there who gathered to voice their stance about the pending actions that would become the war in Iraq. I was in my dress blues, and I remember protesters spitting on me. Now ask any veteran why they served, and you will get a million different responses. For me though, this moment was the most patriotic I had ever felt. This was the country I had signed up and took an oath to defend. Whether it was wrong or disrespectful didn’t matter to me. To me, if we couldn’t be the country that defended the rights of people who do that, we were no better than the countries we may go to war with.
What have you taken with you from your service into your career: I think what I have taken and applied most is being respectful with people, but more so operationally the sense of mission accomplishment. My duty station was a no-fail mission, failure literally meant the death of the POTUS. Obviously, clients aren’t the POTUS, but our dedication to accomplishing the mission to support their needs hasn’t been much different from an operational perspective.

Name: Jasmine Little
Current Title at Parker Poe: Associate
Military Branch: U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps
Brief story from your time in the service: I represented a client who was put in jail for going AWOL. Prior to being jailed, his commanding officer had viewed him as problematic and encouraged others to stay away from him, which isolated him from the rest of the organization. We formally requested the commanding general dismiss the charges based on several mitigating factors. When the charges were dismissed and the client was to be released from jail, I called him to tell him the good news. As he hung up, I heard him say to himself, "Man, my attorney is awesome."
What have you taken with you from your service into your career: Through the Army JAG Corps, I gained confidence as a litigator through exposure to a variety of experiences at each stage of the litigation process. It was a great experience-broadening commitment that taught me invaluable leadership skills, patience, and determination.

Name: Skip Lohmeyer
Current Title at Parker Poe: Chief Information Officer
Military Branch: U.S. Army, Missouri Army National Guard, and South Carolina Army National Guard
Brief story from your time in the service: What I remember the most is serving with some of our nation’s most incredible people. The stories from those eight years are so numerous that I sometimes am overwhelmed with the amazing, impossible things a group of soldiers was able to accomplish. I’ll never forget the men and women I had the privilege of serving alongside or those friends who also served.
What have you taken with you from your service into your career: The skills and experiences unmistakably alter the very being of anyone who served. Service forever shapes your leadership, management, aptitude, accountability, honor, integrity, ownership, urgency, and will. Military service time often means a person was thrust into significant leadership roles at an early age; often gaining leadership experience and wisdom that can take a civilian years or a lifetime to gain. It is hard to imagine a finite list of things I took from military service when the military service shaped my entire life starting at 17. So if the question is, “what have you taken with you from your service,” then the answer to me is, unquestionably – everything.

Name: Charles Pursley
Current Title at Parker Poe: Special Counsel
Military Branch: U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps
Brief story from your time in the service: In Vietnam, a young man came to me charged with possession and use of heroin. I learned he had been a door gunner in a chopper and during a landing, they were attacked and his best friend was shot and died in his arms. That led to his spiraling down. I was able to obtain for him an administrative discharge and transfer back to the States to his family instead of to a court martial.
What have you taken with you from your service into your career: Every client you have has a story. Sometimes it doesn’t appear to be directly related to the issue at hand. But it’s my job as a lawyer to learn the story and do everything I can to best resolve my client’s case.

Name: Bob Stubbs
Current Title at Parker Poe: Special Counsel
Military Branch: U.S. Army
Brief story from your time in the service: In Vietnam our unit was tasked with supporting over 600 personnel stationed all over the country. This was during the time of troop reductions, so because my commanding officer and I were the only ones with infantry training, the company was acting as the second line of defense for U.S. facilities in Saigon. This was frightening as most of our men were only used to working in offices and had not fired a rifle in years. Fortunately, we were spared from combat. I did have a company clerk who was much like the character Radar from the television show MASH.
What have you taken with you from your service into your career: I learned how to negotiate contracts with Vietnamese service providers and also how to be flexible. I also came away with deep respect for those who served and a hope that our country would never again be involved in such an open-ended war. Unfortunately, that has not been the case in recent years.

Name: Fred Thompson
Current Title at Parker Poe: Retired of Counsel
Military Branch: U.S. Navy

Name: Pamela Vassar
Current Title at Parker Poe: Controller
Military Branch: U.S. Air Force
Brief story from your time in the service: I have many memories from my time in the service. Some of my longtime friends were made in those years, and we still stay in touch.
What have you taken with you from your service into your career: I went straight from high school into the military. It taught me responsibility, teamwork, integrity, and maturity. My military experience helped me at my current job because as a controller for a law firm you have to be all these characteristics. I credit my military years to where I am today.

Name: Jonathan Wilson
Current Title at Parker Poe: Counsel
Military Branch: U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps
Brief story from your time in the service: I was once appointed to prosecute a soldier’s administrative separation from the Army where the entire panel that I was advocating before was comprised of other JAG Officers who outranked me. No pressure! The government and the soldier both received a fair outcome and I received some excellent practice tips.
What have you taken with you from your service into your career: Being “counsel” to your client encompasses a lot of roles. Often the best thing we can do for our clients is to be a good listener.