First posted in October 2013
I want to take my first opportunity to contribute to the Bradley & Guzzetta website to introduce myself and thank Mike Bradley and Steve Guzzetta for inviting me to join their firm. I have been practicing law in Minnesota since 1997. I am focusing my current efforts on assisting veterans after over 15 years as a general practitioner, military lawyer and government employee. I also have a strong interest in public service as I strongly believe it to be critical to the health and vitality of our American experiment in self-government. My nearly 25 years in the National Guard with three overseas deployments since 2003 have also given me a strong appreciation for and desire to serve my fellow veterans. It is for them that I have returned to the private practice of law. Although I am focusing on veterans, I bring a wealth of experience in law, government, public policy and military affairs to the firm and am available for a wide range of matters.
I’ve known Mike since we served together in the National Guard as judge advocates (military lawyers) in the late 1990s. I am a born and raised Minnesotan and my family has deep roots in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. I was born at the old St. Mary’s Hospital (now University of Minnesota Riverside) and graduated from Chaska High School in 1986. While studying political science at the University of Minnesota-Duluth I developed my interest in government, politics and public policy. This led to my interning in then-U.S. Senator Dave Durenberger’s Washington, D.C. office and eventually a full-time gig on his staff after I graduated.
I returned to Minnesota to attend law school at William Mitchell at night while I worked for the State of Minnesota during the day. After graduating my wife and I decided that we wanted to start a family in a small town and I accepted my first attorney position with a small firm in Waseca, Minnesota. I commenced to start a family and a general practice focusing on family, criminal and municipal law. It was a great place to learn the ropes of the law. My interest in community service also led to my seeking public office and election as Mayor of Waseca in 2000.
In the post-9/11 era, my service with the Minnesota National Guard led to three overseas deployments starting in 2003. As a young captain and judge advocate with the 34th Infantry Division, we deployed to Bosnia-Herzogovina in support of the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war following the break up of Yugoslavia. This was the largest deployment of the Minnesota National Guard and the first for the 34th Infantry Division headquarters since the end of World War II. Little did we know that this was just the first of many deployments for the Minnesota National Guard and its Red Bulls. I then served as the Brigade Judge Advocate (senior lawyer) for the 34th’s First Brigade Combat Team in southern Iraq in 2005-06. Caught in the 2007 surge, the First Brigade’s 22-month deployment turned out to be the longest for any U.S. Army unit in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I then deployed for my third time as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for the 34th Infantry Division headquarters as it deployed for the second time since World War II in 2009. The 34th provided command and control for 16,000 troops in the 9 provinces of southern Iraq. I currently hold the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Between deployments I returned to state service as an Assistant to the Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Commerce. I recently completed a three year set of active duty orders with the National Guard in a mission supporting civil authorities in domestic emergencies and natural disasters.
My wife and I continue to live in Waseca, Minnesota with our three children. I am a member of the American Legion and VFW and coach youth baseball. My wife has been a financial advisor with Edward Jones since 1999. Our two boys are involved in baseball and football and our special needs daughter brings much joy and challenge to our lives. We like hunting, fishing, boat and camping. I guess you could say we are natural Minnesotans. My full professional bio can be found on the firm website at http://bradleyguzzetta.com/
TomHagenBio.html, and I can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.