The WashBiz Guest Blog: My Day With The Navy

Welcome to Day 3 of our little experiment in guest blogging, something we hope captures a small slice of Washington at work. All this week we plan to run posts from Adam Palmer, policy counsel for .ORG, the Public Interest Registry based in Reston. Adam works on policy issues dealing with Internet governance, cyber security, and e-commerce. Today, he talks about his service in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

By Adam Palmer

I woke up Wednesday and had an experience that always gives me great chills of pride. Rather than putting on my business clothes as usual, I got dressed in my Navy dress blue uniform as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve. I think every American who has ever had this experience will identify with the feelings of patriotic pride that wearing our nations military uniform produces.

Adam with members of his Army team. From left to right: Army Lt. Col. Steven P. Haight, Army Capt. Scott Quillin, Navy Lt. Adam Palmer, Army Capt. Jeremy Steward, civilian secretary Ramona L. Parker, Army Capt. Robert P. McGovern.

I left active duty with the Navy in 2003, but did volunteer work as a civilian for the Army for a few years. In 2007, I joined the Navy reserves but continued to work with the Army, this time as an unpaid volunteer reservist. I am assigned to an Army legal unit that trains military prosecutors around the world. Last year I traveled with the Army to South Korea, Japan, Germany, and across the United States teaching military prosecutors at legal seminars.

Before my meeting with the Army, I had lunch with a 35-year old mother of two children whose Army husband was killed in action in the war on terror. She is involved with a group called "Gold Star Wives of America" for spouses of those who have died on active duty in the U.S. military. I am overwhelmed by her strength and strong spirit. I am also saddened to hear that she has paid thousands of dollars for financial planning and legal assistance. I am hoping to be able to create a network of expert legal professionals in every state that, in the future, will provide free help to military widows like her. They deserve good free help, not legal bills or bureaucratic nonsense.

Following lunch, I meet with my Army unit in Alexandria. During our meeting we discuss plans for the upcoming training season that will include visits to many military bases around the world. It is a tremendous amount of work and time away from family. I will need to use personal vacation time and it is all unpaid. However, it is also incredibly rewarding. Nearly all of the members of my unit have done multiple tours in Iraq or Afghanistan. I know I could be asked to do the same. It is truly a great honor for me to serve with these military members and I feel blessed to call each of them not only colleagues but friends.

Read the rest of Adam's posts here.

By Dan Beyers  |  July 31, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Adam Palmer
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Adam, What you do is very impressive and I am glad that you want to help the Gold Star Wives. I am a lawyer and a veteran and would like to help. I will contact you separately via e-mail. I hope that other members of the DC area's large active duty, reserve, and veteran community can help as well.

Posted by: Andy | July 31, 2008 9:55 AM

Adam, Thanks for the great effort and compassion you are bringing to all you do. Thanks especially for your efforts on behalf of children and families of veterans. Thank you for your service to our country both in the navy and now.

Posted by: Patrick | July 31, 2008 10:07 PM

It's refreshing to see someone who is making a difference and improving this world. To be using your skills to volunteer is admirable. I especially am pleased to see you help the most innocent of this world, our children. Thank you.

Posted by: Diana | July 31, 2008 10:11 PM

Adam, Do you still root for the midshipman when Army vs.Navy in fotball? Your work with the Army gives credibility to the phrase "Brothers and sisters in Arms." Thanks for offering your expertise on such a grand scale for the families who send their sons, daughters, and spouses to defend our country.

Posted by: Nancy | July 31, 2008 10:47 PM

I've followed this story all week. So nice to read an article about someone trying their best to improve our world. I admire the work you are doing. I enjoy reading something positive and interesting in the news. Thank you for the work you are doing.

Posted by: Pauline | August 2, 2008 2:24 PM

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