Lawyer returns from serving in Afghanistan, Iraq

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Augusta's reluctant hero is back.

Shawn Hammond stands with Afghan children in this photo taken in August 2006. The Augusta attorney spent a year in Afghanistan after being called up by the Army 12 years after he last served.  Special
Special
Shawn Hammond stands with Afghan children in this photo taken in August 2006. The Augusta attorney spent a year in Afghanistan after being called up by the Army 12 years after he last served.

After a year in Afghanistan and four more months in Iraq, 1st Lt. Shawn Hammond, an Augusta attorney, is home again.

"Look at this - this is the one I'm most proud of," he said of the combat infantryman's badge on his chest. "Doug (Flanagan) and I are the only two lawyers in Augusta who have this."

It is the only medal a soldier is allowed to wear when not in full dress uniform, he explained.

In January 2006, the Army re-activated Lt. Hammond over his protests that he was overweight, a single parent of three and in private practice. The Army didn't care that 12 years had passed since he had served. He had military combat experience.

By April 2006 he was "MoHammond," the man in charge of training a 52-man unit of the Afghan National Army. He led more than 50 combat missions throughout Afghanistan, his colonel wrote in support of awarding Lt. Hammond a Bronze Star.

His friends and acquaintances back in Augusta held their breath when Lt. Hammond e-mailed details of the December attack on Camp Joyce on the Pakistan border. Taliban forces rained mortar and machine-gun fire from the mountain ridge above the camp. They rejoiced in learning of his safe return after assisting in the capture of the Taliban warlord Said Mir.

"It was cool guy stuff, but I'm a dad now," Lt. Hammond said in his dining room in Columbia County.

When not in combat, Lt. Hammond stopped massive amounts of fraud and waste of supplies in Kandak; helped soldiers with legal troubles from home; and donated time and gathered supplies for Afghan schools, hospitals and villages.

"Training, helping soldiers, then patrols," Lt. Hammond said. It made for full days, he said.

As a year passed, he and his family began to think about life after his service. But not yet, the Army said. There was a surge in Iraq, and Lt. Hammond got new orders.

He made it home this month after more than a year away. Now he starts over from scratch with a new law practice, he said.

He has 90 days to decide whether he wants to stay in the Reserves. If he does, he can keep the health insurance for another five years. That's important with three children, Lt. Hammond said.

After being a divorce lawyer for 10 years, exchanging gunfire with the Taliban didn't seem that bad, he joked.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

SHAWN HAMMOND

AGE: 40

FAMILY: Father of three

OCCUPATION: Augusta attorney who had to spend about $1,000 to buy his own combat gear

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pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 07/23/07 - 05:12 am
0
0
He had to buy his own combat

He had to buy his own combat gear?

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 07/23/07 - 05:40 am
0
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Thank you Lt Hammond. Your

Thank you Lt Hammond. Your service is appreciated by most of the country. I hope you write of your experiences.

docbo68
0
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docbo68 07/23/07 - 06:09 am
0
0
Thank you Lt. Hammond for

Thank you Lt. Hammond for your time and service. Having been in the military, it is sad to say that the military never gives you everything you may need. Some things, big and small, make life much safer and easier.

jaschild
9
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jaschild 07/23/07 - 06:29 am
0
0
it's great to hear you made

it's great to hear you made it back safely to your family. your service is much appreciated. also being in the military, i agree with docbo68 - the military may not give you everything you need but the return you received on your 1K investment was more than likely priceless.

Yorkiemom
0
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Yorkiemom 07/23/07 - 06:36 am
0
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Thank you so much Lt.

Thank you so much Lt. Hammond. My daddy retired from the Army after 33 years. Your service is appreciated by many in America.
God Bless
MBHawkins

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 07/23/07 - 07:06 am
0
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I wonder if 1st Lt. Shawn

I wonder if 1st Lt. Shawn Hammond is the same dude who posts on The
Augusta Chronicle bulletin board as "augustalawyer"? He is very gung-ho
on the wars. Maybe Doug Flanagan is "augustalawyer". First, I am glad
this father made it home safe to his family. Second, it is shocking
that a lawyer must consider the necessity of staying in the US military
war machine so that he can have health coverage for himself & his 3
children. Perhaps Mr. Hammond could put his legal skills to better use
by working for healthcare reform legislation & universal health
insurance. Third, I know of 3 Augusta lawyers who have served in
Afghanistan &/or Iraq: Bobby Christine, Doug Flanagan & Shawn
Hammond. My Congressman John Barrow is also a lawyer. While I do not
question the legality of the US war in Afghanistan I do question its
efficacy. I strongly dispute the legality of the US war in Iraq. What
exactly makes this war a legal war? A pre-emptive war may be justified
if there is an IMMINENT threat. Iraq never attacked or threatened
United States. The whole pretext for the war, that Saddam Hussein has
WMD, has been disproven. It is ironic that Augusta lawyers are
participating in an unjust & ILLEGAL war.

scoobydostwin
1
Points
scoobydostwin 07/23/07 - 07:44 am
0
0
Cain, you have no shame

Cain, you have no shame

getalife
4
Points
getalife 07/23/07 - 07:49 am
0
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We appreciate your service

We appreciate your service and your sacrifice and I am glad you are back with your family!!!

FormerAugustaResident
116
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FormerAugustaResident 07/23/07 - 08:01 am
0
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Lt. Hammond - welcome home

Lt. Hammond - welcome home and thank you for your service! Should I need a divorce lawyer anytime soon...I will look you up.

Cain ....what is ironic is that you can't say "thank you" without turning it into a personal soap box.

createyourfuture
68
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createyourfuture 07/23/07 - 08:13 am
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Cain, Soldiers, sailors, and

Cain,

Soldiers, sailors, and airmen do not make policy: they are instruments of that policy. If you remain in reserves, you are subject to being called to serve. This is a volunteer force. Having left active duty and been in a professional practice for a year, I was recalled for the first Persian Gulf War. Been there, done that.
Your comments regarding the war effort itself are part of the ongoing debate, but attacking those who serve is out of line.

jack
11
Points
jack 07/23/07 - 08:17 am
0
0
Cain the Vietrnam draft

Cain the Vietrnam draft dodger is at it again. BTW Cain, what the hell are you taling about him having to stay in the military to get health care. God save us from Hitlery/DIMs socialized medicine.

divenut
10
Points
divenut 07/23/07 - 08:19 am
0
0
JohnRandolphHardisonCain- So

JohnRandolphHardisonCain- So its been disproven that Saddam had WMD? Please tell that to the Kurds in his own country. Its like saying concentration gas camps never exsisted. Maybe you can define "mass". I know, how about world trade center? Wasn't that a "mass"? Let me guess, no proof that any Arabs or Islamic influence with that. Just an isolated incident, some guys with a chip on their shoulder right? WRONG! WMDs' don't have to be nuclear. And what branch did you serve in sir?

jack
11
Points
jack 07/23/07 - 08:19 am
0
0
Thanks for your service LT.

Thanks for your service LT. I am retired Army of the Vietnam period. Cain the Vietrnam draft dodger is at it again like a broken record. BTW Cain, what the hell are you talking about him having to stay in the military to get health care? Another subject you know nothing about, as usual concerning the military? God save us from Hitlery/DIMs socialized medicine.

Eric
0
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Eric 07/23/07 - 08:22 am
0
0
Welcome back Lt. and thanks

Welcome back Lt. and thanks for serving. As for you cain, try shwoing a little compassion. This is no place to argue the legallities of this war. All you had to do was say welcome back and get on with your day. You didn't need to spew your anti-war diatribe here.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 07/23/07 - 08:27 am
0
0
Welcome back Lt. Hammond,
Unpublished

Welcome back Lt. Hammond, very inspirational, I'm glad we have guys like him willing to serve. I was starting to think Cain is Lowell Greenbaum's username but the writing styles and voice seem to differ. I wouldn't get all worked up over Cain freelancer1, that may be his objective because Cain cannot truly believe all the nonsense he posts on this blog each day. If his objective were to actually persuade people politically, he would be more effective standing on a street corner with a sign.

mjhammond
0
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mjhammond 07/23/07 - 08:27 am
0
0
Cain...yes dude it's me.

Cain...yes dude it's me. Response to your issues in order. 1) Military Tricare is only $250 a month if I stay in a unit. I was paying $1, 000 or more for the family before I went in. 2) Other lawyers at war - Doug Flanagan (Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge) as an Infantry officer won the Silver Star in Vietnam, Bobby Christine (Columbia County Magistrate Judge) as a lawyer won the Bronze Star for Service while serving in the original invasion of Iraq in JAG. However, only Doug and I have participated in actual ground combat and were combat Infantry soldiers. Hence the CIB. 3) WMD's - dude, we already went over this, Iraq had them and they have been used against US soldiers this past year in roadside bombs. Perhaps you should go and talk to the guys with mustard gas burns on their bodies. 4) I don't view the war in Iraq as unjust or illegal. I was not happy about going for the surge when I had already done a year in Afghanistan. However, regardless of what was found, Sadam said he had WMDs and said he was going to use them on us. Sadam had to go. I will speak at the Col Cty Republican Party breakfast this Satruday. morning.

mjhammond
0
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mjhammond 07/23/07 - 08:34 am
0
0
Other responses - the IRR or

Other responses - the IRR or inactive ready reserve guys, especially the guys deployed into combat, were denied the right for certain combat issue items like rifle scopes, night vision goggles, ruck sacks and ammo pouches. The Oregon National guard unit we were assigned to decided that is was more important for their finance clerks to have this equipment than the guys in combat. As a result, I spent over $1, 000 on uniform items and gear. In regards to Lowell Greenbaum, I got to know Lowell well when I was the attorney for the Senior Citizens Council prior to my deployment. Lowell is on the board of directors. Cain is not Greenbaum.

Waymore
114
Points
Waymore 07/23/07 - 08:35 am
0
0
Cain, what federal law was

Cain, what federal law was violated? International law? You constantly say the war is ILLEGAL. How? Didn't th U.N. order Hussein to let inspectors in? Didn't they pass resolution after resolution to use force if necessary? The only one with nutz to enforce the lame U.N. resolutions was the U.S. After all those "If you don't (fill in the blank), we'll (fill in the blank)", you don't think he moved WMD's? He had how many years of threats and deadlines and deadlines passed without action? You really need to get a life. Thanks Lt.Hammond, for doing what you needed to do. I'm glad you made it home safely.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 07/23/07 - 08:42 am
0
0
You didn't put your politics

You didn't put your politics on hiatus when you were "over there", and
your true political colors are showing when you speak at the Col Cty
Repubic War Party breakfast. SADDAM HUSSEIN DID NOT HAVE WMDs that
threatened this country or the US military which invaded that country
without justification. Some lawyer you are! Now you are crying about
how much health insurance costs for your family. That does not justify
going to war or staying in the Wehrmacht. I am glad you are safe. Your
children deserve & need their father. BTW, United States government
has concluded that Saddam did NOT have WMD. Ask David Kay. Ask Charles
Duelfer. You perpetuate LIES "augustalawyer" Shawn Hammond. That does
not speak well for someone whose profession is dedicated to the law.
The war in Iraq is illegal. "Saddam had to go" does not justify killing
more than 655,000 Iraqis with millions more internally displaced &
in exile. Saddam is gone. There were no WMD. There are no WMD. The war
in Iraq has strengthened Al Qaeda according to the National
Intelligence Estimate. Your efforts were entirely counterproductive.
Enjoy your ersatz glory. Now you are set to run for public office in
the Republic War Party.

divenut
10
Points
divenut 07/23/07 - 09:00 am
0
0
Mr. Cain- Just so we

Mr. Cain- Just so we understand each other. How do you define WMDs' ?

LynxRHot
0
Points
LynxRHot 07/23/07 - 09:13 am
0
0
Shawn Hammond is not only

Shawn Hammond is not only dedicated to the law, but dedicated to the fight for freedom for the less fortunate, i.e., the Iraqis. Cain....Hammond was willing to put his life on the line for the fight for freedom, just as our forefathers fought for the freedom we share today. What have YOU done for the betterment of humanity? "There are no WMD" does not justify allowing Saddam to perpetrate his hatred for humanity on the lives of the Iraqi people. Yes, there have been innocent lives lost in the fight for freedom. But do you think more lives would have been spared at the expense of allowing Saddam to continue his reign??? It's because of people like you who choose the "it doesn't affect me" attitude that sadistic men like Saddam are allowed to rule and destroy the lives of innocent men, women, and children. I salute the US armed forces for fighting for freedom! Remember that if your forefathers had not fought for freedom, you wouldn't be allowed the freedom you have today.

scoobydostwin
1
Points
scoobydostwin 07/23/07 - 09:16 am
0
0
Cain and his heroes, Danny

Cain and his heroes, Danny Glover, Rosie O'Donnell, M4el Gibson etc are the enemies within. They should scare us as much as Al Qaeda as they hate everything American. Cain's attitude toward Lt. Hammond is about the most despicable thing I have ever read. He gets worse with ever post. It is nor his opposition to the war that troubles me. There are a lot of good people against the war .It is his hatred for this country that troubles me. He sits that enjoying all of the benefits this country has to offer and belittles the very ones that make his freedom possible. My mother told me not to hate anyone but he certainly makes it difficult to live up to her wishes.

Eric
0
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Eric 07/23/07 - 09:19 am
0
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Cain, I'm sure Shawn doesn't

Cain, I'm sure Shawn doesn't need my help defending himself; but, if you feel so strongly against this war, why do you hide in a forum behind a screen name and tell everybody why this war is wrong and illegal? My guess is that you are a bitter, depressed, little man that lacks the intestinal fortitude to show your face and stand up for what you believe in. I'd rather have Shawn in a foxhole or a court room with me any day than a spineless jelly fish such as yourself. You really need to shut up and allow this man to reconnect with his family without the personal attacks. The guy hasn't seen his children in 16 months and you can't even let him enjoy his homecoming. GET A LIFE!!!!!!!

Kenya_Beard
0
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Kenya_Beard 07/23/07 - 10:07 am
0
0
Mr. Hammond makes a strong

Mr. Hammond makes a strong point that Saddam did say he had and would use the WMDs and we had to take him out. Maybe Augusta should enact this policy against Marion Williams and all the hard drives he may have.

proudsoutherner
0
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proudsoutherner 07/23/07 - 10:17 am
0
0
cain if you have a god pray

cain
if you have a god pray to it that we never meet....please.
i am sure that the breakfast on saturday will be a huge success...as everyone is eager to hear a hero's point of view about the war and its progress.if you had 1/10000th of the guts lt. hammond has, you could show up...,mouth shut-ears open and learn something.
my son is over there....be careful what you say....and i could care less how maby iraqis are killed....apparently not enough so far.when they lose their taste for terrorism and other cowardly acts , maybe they'll decide to end the war themselves .
as far as his efforts went for naught , i see it hasn't shut you up,that's for sure.guess freedom comes cheap when you can "fire" away with a keyboard.
i'll say it for a lot of people...i hate your sorry [filtered word]. you are the most un-american ,socialistic,do nothing book of useless non-facts i have ever come across.
you are not worthy to lick the iraqi sand off lt. hammonds boots.i would love to jack you in the jaw.
oh,yes,this was a personal attack,just like you launched on the lt. post about it,cry about it, get all "pc" about it , and tell me all about my "points" being lost in the anger ...whatever.

proudsoutherner
0
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proudsoutherner 07/23/07 - 10:21 am
0
0
crackertroy,i shoulf have

crackertroy,i shoulf have read your post...water will boil in my mouth right now.
to call lt hammond a liar and to question his dedication to duty,country in such a callous ignorant way has simply [filtered word] me off....badly.

proudsoutherner
0
Points
proudsoutherner 07/23/07 - 10:26 am
0
0
truit...don't get me

truit...don't get me started....

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 07/23/07 - 10:53 am
0
0
Lt. Hammond, if I were a

Lt. Hammond, if I were a soldier I'd salute you, as an American civilian I will thank you from the bottom of my heart. Cain, you have sunk about as low as I have ever read you. Your audacity is beyond comprehension, not even the Taliban or Al Qaida would have you.

bone
23
Points
bone 07/23/07 - 11:15 am
0
0
thank you for serving your

thank you for serving your country, lt. hammond. your glory & honor are real and i hope that our country benefits from the efforts of everyone who has answered the call to arms in this war.

Jillian
2
Points
Jillian 07/23/07 - 11:25 am
0
0
Thank you Lt. Hammond for

Thank you Lt. Hammond for your service. I am so glad you returned home safely. Best wishes to you and your family. It is so wonderful to read about a man who is concerned about the welfare of his children too. So MANY guys help produce babies and never take any responsibility for the child's well being. We need MORE men of honor.

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