Business

Stories From Main Street: Wall Street Firm Powered By Wounded Veterans

Brokerage Is 40 Percent Veterans
Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Stories from Main Street – Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A small Wall Street firm is on a mission to train and employ wounded veterans.

As WCBS 880′s Sean Adams reported, Drexel Hamilton is not you typical Wall Street brokerage firm.

On the wall, there’s a map of Iraq because many of the employees have been there.

“The firm is basically about 40 percent veterans. Half of them are disabled from current wars,” managing director Craig Simmons told Adams.

Drexel Hamilton was founded by a wounded Vietnam vet, Larry Doll. Its singular mission is to help returning veterans find meaningful careers, Adams reported.

“Someone who’s had 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 tours of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, they’re highly, highly skilled, they have experience beyond anything I’ve seen out of MBAs,” Simmons said.

The firm recruits, trains and mentors the veterans.

“They’re driven, they’re focused, they’re ambitious, they’re extremely proud,” managing director John Glynn said.

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Former Army Ranger John Martinko, 36, said he had a difficult time adjusting back to civilian life after seven combat deployments.

“I was used to going 1,000 miles per hour, now I’m moving at a snail’s pace each day. The Wall Street environment and the pace is what I need each day to sustain myself,” he told Adams. “I’m going to go as far as saying Wall Street saved my life.”

Martinko now works on the equities desk alongside his fellow veterans.

“We’re doing it almost like we’re operating in the streets of Iraq or out in the mountain ranges of Afghanistan,” Robert Terhune, who served three tours of duty with the 82nd Airborne Division, told Adams. “I got 10 concussions, a floating bone in my foot, arthritis in my ankle, my knee, my lower back. A torn meniscus in my knee and a herniated disc in my back.”

Drexel Hamilton started in 2008 and currenly has 72 employees.

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