Fresno lawyer leaves job to serve his country

FRESNO, Calif.

The Besmers are like lots of everyday working parents who get kids off to day care and themselves off to work and enjoy their times together on the weekends.

Until a few weeks ago Clovis raised Matt Besmer was just a husband, dad and a practicing lawyer in living in Fresno. After 4 plus years on active duty in the U.S. Army serving as a military attorney with the he was a just another civilian. Until this February when he was asked to serve again - this time in Iraq. He was under no obligation to do so. His services as an experienced JAG attorney were needed.

When we met in late November he shared his story and told me, "We're scheduled to leave in early December". Another JAG officer was forced to withdraw due to a family health crisis. He and his wife, Aleyna made the decision together he said, "Torn between a sense of duty and service, torn between my obligations as a husband and a father."

In Iraq Besmer and 2 other JAG attorneys will oversee government contracts and any legal issues of a brigade of approximately 4-thousand soldiers. But at his law job at Dowling Aaron and Keeler he was offered complete support and advice. Jim Burnside told him,"Keep your head down your helmet on and stay in a fortified building."

At home he and wife Aleyna talked about their joint decision and a year of separation.

"Matt: I'm gonna miss violets first steps."

"Aleyna: I have great day care and I have a great work support system and we have a great family system here so. We'll manage."

Their relationship began at Clovis high school, weathered separation during law school and led to marriage and parenthood. A year in Iraq will be another milestone to meet head on Aleyna explained, "I'm not the only one. There are thousands of women across the country who are doing it."

On this Thanksgiving weekend the Beamers will be together thanks to Aleyna's co-workers taking her shifts at Children's Hospital. Captain Besmer reports for duty December first. A family website will help keep them connected until he returns. For this soldier the choice to serve is one that carries hope, "No matter how small my contributions may be in the big picture I hope that somehow my involvement will make a difference."

As of late November 23rd, 2010 some forty-eight thousand American troops serving in Iraq.

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