Bombs, Bravery, and Beyond: Chris Dunn’s Story

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”  

~ Thucydides 

War is a world where valor meets volatility and courage confronts chaos. In this world, our veterans emerge as the epitome of resilience and unwavering dedication. Sergeant Chris Dunn is one of those veterans. 

Chris is a Gulf War Army veteran and Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic alum. He joined the Army in 1986 and volunteered to become an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Specialist. He deployed to Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia with the 47th EOD Detachment during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Being an EOD Specialist is nothing like what is shown in movies or on television. There are rarely any colored wires to snip. Nevertheless, Chris’s duty was intense, demanding, and dangerous. He and his unit were responsible for detecting, diffusing, and destroying millions of explosive devices; capturing enemy military ordnance; and collecting intelligence on new weaponry of the enemy. While in the United States, Chris had what they called “VIP Missions,” where he served alongside the Secret Service to provide protection for the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and foreign State dignitaries. He even had the responsibility of protecting President George H.W. Bush at the G7 Summit in 1990.

While Chris immensely enjoyed his military service, it did not come without serious costs to him. He was exposed to depleted uranium and other toxic embedded fragments, smoke, heat injuries, burn pits, chemical weapons agents, diesel exhaust, incredible noise, and concussive forces.

Following his discharge from the Army in 1991, Chris got his B.A. and M.A. in Geography from Kansas State University in 1993 and 1994, respectively. In 2011, at nearly 50 years old, Chris decided to attend law school. He applied to a lot of law schools because he wasn’t even sure they accepted people his age. Chris chose to attend Mizzou Law because it had “his vibe” and offered the best preparation to work for himself after graduation.  

While at Mizzou Law, Chris was a student advocate in the inaugural Veterans Clinic in 2014. The work in the Clinic was challenging but incredibly satisfying for Chris. He recalls one of his clients who was in the Philippines. Chris and Clinic staff were unable to locate this client. Chris was able to utilize his geographical background to track his client’s surviving family members down and make sure the Clinic was able to assist and serve the veteran.   


After graduating from Mizzou Law in 2014, Chris started his own firm,, in Columbia, Missouri. He uses his geography and legal background to develop and utilize geospatial tools to assist in legal cases. Chris creates demonstrative evidence by combining work products from engineers, crime scene analysts, and the like. Chris enjoys the work he does and is enthusiastic about the way technology is impacting policing, particularly through geofence warrants.   


Unfortunately, Chris had a series of strokes in 2021. He spent two weeks in the hospital and two weeks in a rehabilitation center. He had to learn to walk again over the next year. Chris had learned from his experience in the Veterans Clinic that certain neurological issues could be related to his service, especially his Gulf War duty. Even though he is an attorney and an alum of the Veterans Clinic, he found the rules and procedures concerning the connection between his disabilities and exposures in service to be extremely confusing. So, he called Director Angela Drake for help. “The Clinic has provided first-class representation in every possible way.” Because of the efforts of the Clinic, Chris is now receiving disability compensation for several conditions caused by his toxic exposures in the Gulf War and other locations. Chris is comforted to know that the staff of the Clinic is always there, a phone call away.  


Chris gives back by volunteering at the Veterans Will Clinic at Truman VA Medical Center in Columbia. He also donates monthly to the Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic.  In fact, he received the Missouri Bar’s 2023 Pro Bono Award for his work at the Will Clinic. Through his own experiences, Chris knows just how much it means to our veterans when others step up help on behalf of a grateful nation.