eer - not if you encrypt the files needed to boot?
Of course, if you use EERM you can have both public and private areas, so just store the boot stuff on the public area.
I think it is worth mentioning that McAfee can sell you pre-encrypted USB sticks (hardware encryption, not EEFF/EERM) and pre-install a bootable OS. We've got a handful of customers that want "OS on a stick", so we can provide that out of the box. If you are just doing this for support techs, or a side project ... it will be tricky. I think you'd have to use the public partition as Simon says, but I haven't tested it and don't know if your BIOS would see it as a bootable partition.
It's true, both McAfee and MXI would be happy to sell me a hardware product, at roughly 5X the cost of a plain USB stick plus the license I already purchased.