By Marcus Anthony, CEO, DriveDigital
Here at DriveWealth, we’re fortunate enough to have and celebrate a team of employees who bring unique experiences and perspectives to the table. As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, I personally know the transition from service to civilian life can be daunting and a strong support structure is crucial. This Military Appreciation Month, we asked veterans on the DriveWealth team to share how their service has influenced their careers and the importance of support from family, friends and colleagues.
Blaine Busse. U.S. Marine Corps, Sr. Cloud Architect at DriveWealth
The support structure for transitioning vets in 1999 wasn’t the same as it is today. You learned how to write a resume, how your military skills may or may not fit a certain career, how to submit for unemployment and where the local VA center was. Luckily, I transitioned out with my best friend and we supported each other through the culture shock. Since I had a knack for technology, I had been taking technical courses at night and eventually turned it into a career that I really enjoy. I found that being able to lean on a solid friend, a good chunk of self-reliance and a “fake it ‘til you make it” attitude helped my transition. In the workforce, veteran colleagues are also a great support system because of shared history and experiences – most fellow Marine vets tend to keep that same camaraderie for life.
Todd Leong, U.S. Army, Equity Options Business Development at DriveWealth Institutional
As I transitioned into civilian life, I took my inspiration from my father, who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day as an infantryman with the 1st Infantry Division in World War II. I feel it’s important colleagues recognize veterans of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) and have compassion for the trauma they’ve experienced. The transition from military to civilian life is difficult, and exceptionally difficult for those suffering from PTSD. Veterans suicide rates are over 50% higher the average citizen, with the highest risk group is ages 18 to 34.
Anthony Monteleone, U.S. Air Force, Head of Service Management at DriveWealth
After finishing my service, I applied for a job at the New York Stock Exchange, an organization which valued military experience. I was able to carry over aspects of my service into the professional world: working in a high pressure environment, following processes and working well with a team. In the workforce, it’s important for others to recognize that many veterans bring these skills and to leverage them.
Charles Vesce, U.S. Navy, Head of Securities Lending at DriveWealth
Following service in both Vietnam and Desert Storm, I found inspiration from my father as I returned to civilian life. In the workforce today, I find it most important that my colleagues simply stand by me – and stand by all veterans.
Brian Watkins, U.S. Marine Corps, Head of Account Management at DriveWealth
I had and still have a very large group of friends, family and fellow veterans – too many to name just one. Everyone should remember that the military operates 365 days a year, not just Memorial Day and Labor Day. Helping or offering support on the remaining 363 days in the year has a huge impact on our military, past and present. There are a tremendous number of veteran organizations who are always welcoming volunteers or support in any way – find one local to you and reach out to see how you can help.