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Yellow Ribbon Series: Hugh B. Pearce
Former student Hugh B. Pearce left behind a lasting legacy.
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Embracing Core Values
W. Kennedy Comer

A proud participant in the Yellow Ribbon GI Bill Program, Widener Law is committed to providing a positive learning environment to the dedicated service members of the United States armed forces. The Yellow Ribbon series highlights the students, faculty, and programs that connect the Widener Law community with the brave veterans who have served their country so admirably.

“To be in the military is to embrace core values that translate into law school. For me personally, the Air Force’s core value of ‘Excellence in all we do’ is motivation,” says Delaware student Kennedy Comer of how his time in the military helped prepare him for law school, adding, “The core value was the seed that sprouted into my philosophy that ‘if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing the best way I can do it’.”

A former sensor operator for the remotely piloted MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle, Kennedy was assigned to the 15th Recon Squadron and was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was also selected to be the Predator Liaison at the Combined Air Operations center for the beginnings of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and he finished his time with the Air Force helping to train the next generation of Predator operators at the 13th Recon Squadron.

Before coming to Widener, he served as a legal assistant at Grant & Eisenhofer P.A., a Wilmington law firm that concentrates on corporate governance and securities litigation. “I loved the work that I did there, so I’m vectoring my career in that direction,” says Kennedy.

“I decided to come to Widener because the area has some unique benefits that will be really helpful. I’m fascinated by Delaware’s Chancery Court, and I want to be where I can explore and discover more about it,” observes Kennedy, noting, “Delaware is also a special area because it’s such a tight community where someone can be recognized quickly through their hard work.”

While Kennedy’s status as a veteran has been challenging because “some educational institutions forget that they’re not dealing with traditional students so they tend to organize themselves for students that pipeline their way from high school to an undergraduate to a graduate degree,” he is quick to note that “there are also folks out there that are willing to provide some extra help because of my veteran status.”

Balancing his legal education with his other passions has been a challenge as well, but he says, “I’ve been really lucky to have so much support from my partner Krista which allows me to focus on other important things without worrying about some of the smaller life stuff such as emptying the kitty litter and taking out the recycling.”

He draws a parallel to his time in the Air Force, saying, “In the Air Force, my biggest challenge was similar in that there was an enormous time, energy and life commitment to the job everyday so it was sometimes hard to balance personal issues. It was especially unique with Predator because we could be controlling an aircraft on the other side of the world for 12 hours, then you ‘clock out’ and go home as if it was a normal workday.”

Kennedy advises veterans looking at law school to ask for clarification as they prepare for school, saying, “I think the procedures, challenges and benefits for a veteran coming to law school is different than other students so the instructions for loans and other things may not address veterans’ issues, but there are folks at Widener that seem really happy to help.”

He also offers praises for the Post 9/11 G.I. “The Bill is outstanding. I used and exhausted the Montgomery G.I. Bill for my undergraduate degree and I had a lot of personal gripes about the process to get the benefits and the benefits themselves. The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill has not only opened up a new pool of funds for me to use for school, but it has also addressed the procedural pains that existed with the Montgomery G.I. Bill.”