Celebrating our Veterans at Gravis Law

Call us or click below to send a message : 509-380-9102

BragPic_PE_110819_Margaret_1

By Gravis Law

Gravis Law is proud of all the veterans who have served, and we are honored to share the stories of Veterans who work at Gravis Law.

Catlyn Hartz, Senior Paralegal

What was your branch/occupation?

United States Airforce | Field Missile Maintenance Technician on the Minuteman 2 ICBM

How many years of service?

3 years

Where was your favorite place to be stationed?

She did basic training in Texas and then trained in Illinois. She was stationed in Great Falls, Montana at Malmstrom Air Force Base. She didn’t fully appreciate living in MT as much as she would have now. But she was only 17 at the time!

Favorite Memory from your time of service?

When she entered the AF, she was 17 years old and was working with a nuclear missile. Her crew had a very morbid sense of humor. It was the end of the cold war and the missile could be fired at anytime. They used to have to carry a key down into the missile silo so they could enter it in the failsafe and ensure the missile wouldn’t launch and blow them up. They always joked that it didn’t really do anything, just that the AF were trying to make them feel better about having to work down there with the possibility of imminent death. They also used to take brakes and lay on top of the blast doors of the missile. They would make jokes and come up with funny scenarios about what would happen to them if the missile launched while they were on top of it. For instance, would it be like pulling a table cloth off a table and they’d just fall into the silo, could they ride the missile as it launched, would they just be blown off. Again, morbid sense of humor.

Cat is also very proud of her family’s history of military service. Both of her Grandpas served in the Army Corps during World War II. Her dad served in the Army during the Vietnam era and retired from the military. Cat jokes that when she was young, she couldn’t understand what other Dads did for a living if they weren’t in the military. All she ever knew was living on a military base and it was so strange to her that people did anything else. Her sister was also in the Air Force and worked with nuclear weapons as well. In fact a funny (and again somewhat morbid) story about her sister, is that while she was serving, she was diagnosed with a mild form of thyroid cancer and had to do radiation treatment. When she was done working for the day her team would always have to be inspected for radiation, and of course she always set off all the warnings. She would joke that there was no way to knowing if it was her treatment or she was exposed to additional radiation. I think the morbid sense of humor runs in the family. Cat’s daughter also has served in the Army for six years. Cat is hoping her Granddaughter also chooses to serve when she is old enough which will mean 6 consecutive generations of service.

How did your military service positively impact your practice of law?

There are How To’s for everything in the military. Having to use technical manuals in the military gave her a foundation for understanding and following rules, procedures, and trained her to work and think in a structured manner.  This skill is reflected when she is researching case law, court rules, and following process.  She was so young when she went in to the AF, it gave her a way of being independent while also having a strong support structure. She learned self-reliance, leadership, and teamwork.


Margaret Brost, Managing Attorney

What was your branch/occupation?

I was in the Army as a 91G20 – Psychology / Social Work Tech.

How many years of service?

I was in for 3 years beginning in 1974 – 1977. 

Where was your favorite place to be stationed?

I was stationed in Nurnberg Germany for most of my enlistment, which was also my favorite place.

Favorite Memory from your time of service?

 I enjoyed the way we teased our male drill sergeant and made him blush. He was not much older than us and although he was a decorated Viet Nam veteran, he really did not know what to do with a bunch of sassy women from all over the country. 

How did your military service positively impact your practice of law?

Throughout my legal career, a little sass has helped get me through a lot of stuff that was tough. And, knowing that even though someone is in power they are still human helped keep me grounded in front of judges. As a side note, it gladdens my heart to see that our country has opted to elect a sassy woman as VP.


Preston White, Attorney

What was your branch/occupation?

United States Marine Corps (5 years) | National Guard (16 years) | Arabic Translator

How many years of service?

Total 21 years of service

Where was your favorite place to be stationed?

Preston has a great sense of humor, he picked Camp Lejeune in North Carolina as his “favorite” place ever stationed. He laughed and said anyone who’s been there knows he’s kidding.

Favorite Memory from your time of service?

In 1999, he was able to visit the Vatican City for Christmas. It was an historic time because Pope John Paul opened the holy door of St. Peter’s Basilica. This happens only on Jubilee years (about every 15 years). The city was packed with people and it was a really cool experience.

How did your military service positively impact your practice of law?

Moving around so much and meeting all kinds of different people really opened him up to different viewpoints and cultures. He was raised in a tiny agricultural town two hours north of Salt Lake City, so his experiences were very limited. Serving in the military gave him a broader perspective of the world and aids him while working in criminal defense with a large range of people.


Chelsea Hammer

What was your branch/occupation?

Army- 91B (All Wheels Mechanic)

How many years of service?

6.5 years.

Where was your favorite place to be stationed?

JBLM. That’s why I moved back here!

Favorite Memory from your time of service?

Competing in the Soldier of the Year competition. I was the first female in my brigade’s history to make it to that level. I ended up placing second.

How did your military service positively impact your practice of law?

It taught me critical thinking and attention to detail, which greatly benefits paralegals.


Jay Scarborough

What was your branch/occupation?

U.S. Army/Paralegal

How many years of service?

6.5 years active duty and 4 years National Guard

Where was your favorite place to be stationed?

Wiesbaden, Germany

Favorite Memory from your time of service?

I remember the feeling of accomplishment and pride that followed every grueling ruck march, training exercise, and competition.  More than that I value my memories of comradery.

How did your military service positively impact your practice of law?

My military experience instilled in me an appreciation for the importance of attention to detail and performing to standard despite insurmountable challenges as well as an awareness of the lasting impact that legal work has on a person’s life. 


Jill Williamson

What was your branch/occupation? 

US Army, 98G/Russian Linguist-SIGINT

How many years of service?

7 years

Where was your favorite place to be stationed?

Germany

Favorite Memory from your time of service?

I was the first woman to attend (and graduate) from the NATO Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol School. It was fun to see the reaction of the infantrymen from a variety of NATO countries react to a female service member.  Especially when I could meet all of the performance standards at the school. Also, I was an extra in the movie “The Presidio” with Sean Connery (RIP)

How did your military service positively impact your practice of law

The last three years of my service I worked at the On-Site Inspection Agency, working as an inspector under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.  We spent a lot of time learning to interpret the treaty, discuss the interpretation, and deal with disputes regarding treaty interpretation encountered during the course of an inspection. While as a non-commissioned officer, I was not primarily responsible for these decisions, it was a great front-row view to understanding, interpreting, and negotiating the interpretation of a text in an environment that did not allow for walking away from the deal.


Jim Kaufman

What was your branch/occupation?

Stationed in Washington DC at the Pentagon after completing training at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis.  My military occupational specialty (MOS) was stenography/office work.  I worked in administration for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Wore my class A uniform (military suit) every day.

How many years of service?

2 years

Favorite Memory from your time of service?

A favorite memory was getting through the whole experience safe and sound.  It was however an experience seeing the military from the top down. 

I learned that the military is a very large organization steeped in tradition and hidden rules.  It is truly a dog eat dog world for the officer corps.  If they are not promoted to a certain rank by a certain age, they are asked to retire.  Those that last until their 60’s are the winners.  The higher-ranking officers are generally very brilliant people.  The officers above a major in the Air Force all have Master’s degrees or higher.  The general public does not have an understanding of the life the career military officer faces and the dedication they have. One small mistake and their career path are jeopardized.  They put in long unappreciated hours.

How did your military service positively impact your practice of law?

My experience did not pertain to the practice of law, but the life experience very much added to my maturity.