EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — At 22 years old, the Jessup native volunteered for the U.S. military draft.
Judge Tom Munley served in Vietnam, where nearly 60,000 American troops died in combat.
Munley vividly recalls the first day a helicopter dropped him off into hostile territory and the fellow soldier who called out to him.
Munley served right alongside that soldier named Jim for the next seven months until it was time for that fellow infantryman to go home.
“I looked at him and I said, ‘Jim, what am I going to do? You’re leaving me’ and he said, ‘Get a new guy and teach him how to stay alive like I taught you’,” explained Judge Munley.
Munley did and made it his mission to pay it forward and protect and fight for those who answered the call to serve.
After his nearly two years in Vietnam, Munley returned home stateside, and like other vets, experienced injustice.
In Munley’s case, it was when he tried to resume his teaching career.
“I couldn’t get my teaching job back. I swear. I was a school teacher. You know, nothing against the principal but he said we hired somebody else,” explained Judge Munley.
Hiller says, so, you felt something had to change.” Munley responded I said, ‘This is crazy. I wasn’t in prison. I was out serving my country and I didn’t get my teaching job back.
The experience motivated him to pursue another career in the field of law.
“From the day I got out of law school, I spent my whole 40, almost 50 years counting being a judge working for veterans. Every time veterans would come to me, I would never charge them. I’d let them go. I represented so many veterans,” explained Judge Munley.
For nearly a decade now.
Munley has represented veterans in another way by hosting the 28/22 News television segment ‘Veterans Views’.
He discusses issues surrounding vets, provides expert advice, and gets them the help they need.
“I’m trying to get housing for veterans. I’m trying to veterans to call me constantly. I almost have that book memorized with all of the veterans’ rights. it’s a thick book,” continued Judge Munley.
“Once you put that uniform on, it sets you apart from everybody else,” added Munley.
It’s something he never forgot which may explain the passion he feels to support his band of brothers.
“I’m still going to help veterans until they put me in that grave. I’m not going to stop,” continued Judge Munley.
Munley says he hopes he has another ten good years in him to continue hosting Veterans Views.