Ed was born in Park Ridge, Illinois. During grade school and high school, Ed lived in the small town of Crete, Illinois. In his senior year of high school, Ed enlisted with the Illinois Army National Guard as a field artillery cannon crewmember. In August of 2001, Ed was sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for basic and advanced individual training. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon happened during his training. After completing training, Ed returned to Illinois and shortly afterwards, began attending school at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. In 2004, during his senior year at Illinois State University, Ed’s National Guard unit was activated by the Federal government to serve a tour of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ed and his unit were cross trained as infantry mortar men before being sent to Iraq. Ed performed a variety of tasks while serving in Iraq including offensive and defensive combat operations. He was awarded the Army’s Combat Infantry Badge for engaging with enemy and insurgent forces in Iraq. An Army Accommodation Medal was awarded to Ed for his assistance with training the Iraqi Army.
Ed returned home from Iraq in May of 2005. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and subsequently attended law school at Valparaiso School of Law in Valparaiso, Indiana. While attending Valparaiso, Ed founded the law school’s first group for Veteran law students, The Military Veterans Law Association. Ed has spent a majority of his legal career assisting veterans with legal issues in both the public and private sectors. His first job after law school was working with the national veteran disability firm of Bosley & Bratch in Marion, Indiana and Clearwater, Florida. There he handled hundreds of VA disability appeals at the Regional Office, Board of Veterans Appeals and Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. He subsequently became the Senior Staff Attorney of the Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic (VLSC) at The John Marshall Law School. The VLSC handles disability appeals, discharge upgrades, and veteran diversion court matters. He currently is an Adjunct Professor of Law at The John Marshall Law School where he teaches law students the substantive and practical aspects of veteran’s advocacy law. Ed is also a frequent presenter on veteran and military service-related topics.Ed-Farmer-CV