When South Florida State College (SFSC) alumnus Edward Lohrer graduated from high school, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life. He had grown up in Lake Placid, Fla., and all he knew was that he wanted to see what life held for him beyond the borders of Highlands County. Although he didn’t have a life plan in those early years, he discovered that through self-determination, he could create the life he wanted. He is now an attorney and shareholder with the law firm Becker & Poliakoff in its Fort Lauderdale, Fla. office.
At age 17, Lohrer met and spoke with an Army recruiter stationed at a table in front of Publix Supermarket. The recruiter followed up, coming to the Lohrers’ home, where he introduced himself to Lohrer’s parents. Lohrer’s parents thought the Army would be a good experience for him, so they signed a waiver allowing him to join the Army.
“They were offering money for college at the time,” Lohrer said. “It was $30,000. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but I knew I wanted to eventually go to college.”
However, Lohrer needed to complete his senior year at Lake Placid High School. The Army recruiter told him about SFSC’s Adult High School program held at its Lake Placid Center. “I received an SFCC high school diploma through the program,” Lohrer said. “You would work at your own pace. If you needed a credit of English, you would be given all the assignments up front. As fast as you completed them, you would be given the next set of assignments. Through the program, I completed my senior year of high school in three or four months. That way, I was able to join the Army a year earlier than I would have otherwise.”
So, Lohrer went into the Army on active duty at age 17. He was stationed at Fort Knox, Ky. and his Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was 19K, a U.S. Army M1 Abrams Armor Crewman. During combat, they operate M1 Abrams tanks.
“The Army teaches you discipline,” Lohrer said. “So, it helped me mature a little earlier than other teenagers. I had never had my own bank account or credit card, and I had to do everything by myself, such as laundry. All of a sudden, I was in a situation where I only had myself to rely on.”
Click here to read the entire story of Edward’s journey from serving his country in the military to advocating for his construction clients in the courtroom.
Edward Lohrer is Board Certified in Construction Law and has significant experience representing owners, developers, associations, contractors, design professionals, and governmental entities in a variety of construction-related litigation. He regularly handles issues involving contractual disputes, delay, defect, design and warranty claims, payment and performance bond claims and Florida’s construction lien law. To learn more about Ed, please click here.