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A salute to Major Swanson

Peter Swanson is my colleague at my day job. I’ve known Peter since 1993 or so when he was a law student passing out Bill-and-Hillary jokes that were confiscated by the powers-that-be at the University of Minnesota during freshman orientation. John and I represented Peter when he sought redress for the university’s blatant violation of his First Amendment rights.
With Peter’s enthusiastic support we agreed to a settlement under which the university president and his cabinet of deans and chancellors received “First Amendment sensitivity training” from the distinguished constitutional law professor Daniel Farber, then of the University of Minnesota Law School. The university confiscated his jokes, but Peter got the last laugh.
I came to admire Peter at the time and my admiration has only grown over the years. After law school Peter entered the Army JAG Corps, where he served five years overseas in Bosnia, I think, and at home as a part-time JAG recruiter. At work he is a model colleague. Within the legal profession he is a tireless opponent of the reigning orthodoxies.
Peter’s Army service came between the two Iraq wars. He has now answered the call for a return to duty. He will be serving in Iraq for an additional hitch of a year or so. At the moment he is stationed in Texas preparing for his duty in Baghdad. We offer him our respectful salute.
UPDATE: Peter writes: “Thanks for the post. The reaction has been very touching and encouraging. I will post some photos when I get my blog approved. I am trying to encourage my buddies to put their thoughts in 250-500 word blog posts. So far no luck. There are many interesting stories here.” He also reminds me: “I spent five years on active duty, stationed in Kansas and Washington State. Six months of that time, I was in Hungary and Bosnia.”
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