Experimental Aircraft Association Honors Justin Lee at The Gathering


The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) honored Jackson Walker associate Justin V. Lee for his military service at its fundraiser gala dinner, The Gathering, in July 2018. The Gathering was the highlight of the four-day AirVenture Oshkosh, the world’s largest annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts.

The fundraiser dinner included a video the EAA produced to acknowledge Justin’s service as a pilot and commander of an Army Chinook unit in Afghanistan. The video was inspired by an article in The Dallas Morning News.

Each year, The Gathering brings more than 1,000 aviation enthusiasts together to raise money for youth programs that promote aviation. The Gathering joins industry leaders, celebrities, business partners, aviation icons, and enthusiasts for an elegant evening of fine dining, entertainment, and three distinct fundraising auctions.

Five years before joining Jackson Walker as a Dallas associate, Justin served as a CH-47 “Chinoook” helicopter pilot in Afghanistan supporting some of the most battle-tested fighters in the military. Justin’s unit called itself “Extortion Company,” and pilots like Justin flew challenging missions at high altitudes over hostile environments and rough terrain, almost always at night. On August 6, 2011, one of the helicopters in his company was shot down in the deadliest loss of U.S. forces during the Afghanistan War. All aboard—including 15 members of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6–were killed in the crash. Justin still wears a bracelet with the names of the five crew members to honor their memory.

Justin remained in Afghanistan flying combat missions for eight months before returning home in spring 2012, completing his Army service, and graduating from SMU Law with honors.

Justin’s current practice focuses on business litigation and aviation. He spoke in April 2018 at the 52nd Annual SMU Air Law Symposium regarding his article “Recent Developments in Aviation Law” published in Volume 83 of SMU’s Journal of Air Law and Commerce.

We are quite proud to have Justin among the 10 military leaders representing four branches of the United States Armed Forces in our ranks at Jackson Walker. A listing of our practicing veterans can be found on page 12 of the Jackson Walker 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Report.