Sworn in From Iraq

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

9 a.m. in Lansing -- 4 p.m. in Iraq.

The two seem a world away. But on this day, Army Maj. Miles Gengler gets to see home, and his family, via videoconference, for a special honor.

"My son's being sworn in as a lawyer," said Gengler's mother, Dawn Pacek.

And she couldn't be prouder. Her son passed the Michigan bar exam in February. He was deployed to Iraq just a month later -- leaving no time to be sworn in. His law school dean told him: Not to worry.

"We made a promise that if he passed the bar, we would find a way to get him sworn in," said John Nussbaumer, dean of the Cooley Law School.

It's a promise he kept. And he went all out, getting Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly to swear Maj. Gengler in.

The road to Thursday was not an easy one for the 35-year-old.

"A typical day was driving to work, listening to law school CDs on the way, going to work, and then coming home, trying to spend a little time with the family, and then studying."

All that while preparing to ship off to war. But he says today, it's all worth it. He made his wife proud.

"Mostly, I'm just proud of him. We miss him. We miss him every day."

And his daughters happy.

"We get to talk to him on webcam," said 12-year-old Carson Gengler. "But it was different seeing him, like, really, really big on the screen."

And there could be no better present for the Fourth of July.

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