Honoring Advisors Who Serve(d): Veterans Day, 2016

ThinkAdvisor honors 10 veterans this Veterans Day who served in the armed forces and now serve their clients as financial advisors.

West Point graduates celebrating. (Photo: AP) West Point graduates celebrating. (Photo: AP)

For Veterans Day, ThinkAdvisor is running an updated version of the slideshow we ran on Memorial Day. We like to dedicate at least a little time to an important group of financial advisors: military veterans. Not all stories by veterans are about hitting the beaches or laying down fire; many are of the quiet moments before and after that action over the course of many years of serving in the U.S. armed forces.

ThinkAdvisor continues its five-year-old tradition of honoring advisors who served, whether in war or peace. This slideshow presents their names, images and what they remember about or learned from their service. 

Johnny W. Dawson

Name: Johnny W. Dawson

Title/Company: Financial Advisor / Edward Jones

Branch: U.S. Marine Corps

Rank held at beginning of service and at end:  Private First Class / Corporal

Service Dates:  2003 - 2007

Work you did: Infantry / Squad Leader / 2nd Battalion 7th Marines 1st Marine Division

Brief story that stands out from your service time: Memorial Day is more than just recognition; it is about sacrifice, honor and remembrance. Each day, I can see the faces and hear the voices of the men who fought selflessly for their country and paid the ultimate price. I am honored to remember them on Memorial Day through a tradition we started a few years back. Each year, I take my three sons to plant flags to honor all of the men and women who have laid down their lives for our freedoms in this great country. Semper Fi.

 Dick Gootee

Name: Dick Gootee

Title/Company: CFP / Atherton Wealth Advisors

Branch: U.S. Navy

Rank held at beginning of service and at end: 3rd class petty officer

Service Dates:  1960 - 1963

Work you did: Guided missile technician

Brief story that stands out from your service time: Initially had a misconception about great travel involved until I found out about having a billet (job) that came with it. After guided missile school, I spent 2 years on newly commissioned guided missile destroyer TRAVELING the high seas. Looking back it was in top 10 of defining life experiences.

David Hollands 

Name: David Hollands

Title/Company: President / Eagle Wealth Solutions

Branch: U.S. Army

Rank held at beginning of service and at end: 2LT - COL

Service Dates:  1982 - 2012

Work you did: Artillery Officer

Brief story that stands out from your service time: In 2005 I was the Chief Financial Officer for the US Ambassador in Afghanistan, as a mobilized Army Reservist. I left 100 clients and one wife behind when I deployed. I lost one client and one wife during my tour, but when I returned I got the client back!

William Sweet 

Name: William Sweet

Title/Company: Investment Advisor / Ritholtz Wealth Management

Branch: U.S. Army

Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Lieutenant - Captain

Service Dates:  2002 - 2007

Work you did: Armor Officer

Brief story that stands out from your service time: My last three years in the Army were spent as a Basic Training Company Commander. I was the officer in charge of a few dozen of the Army's best NCOs (Drill Sergeants). Whenever we would have a formation and I'd get to talk to the entire company, I could never stop thinking about how representative the Army is from across the nation -- in few other places will you see collected up kids from Alaska to Arkansas, from Maine to Hawaii -- all thrown together and asked to work together even though they know nothing about each other. And the funny thing was that there was this underlying common bond that connected everyone who volunteered -- it's a little hokey, but that love of country, the desire to serve, the want to be a part of something greater than yourself.

I'd look out on the formation and think that these are the best the country has all gathered together to accomplish something meaningful -- to protect and defend what most of us take for granted on a daily basis. To watch kids that could barely understand each other's accents at the beginning of basic turn to lifelong friends by the end was something that I always admired. And it was folks from all walks of life -- soldiers who barely graduated high school from the deep south alongside highly-educated, smart leaders like my colleague Patrick Haley and my friend Wes Gray -- we all speak the same language deep down. It's a real thing.

Cory Hixson in Tough Mudder race 

Name: Cory L. Hixson

Title/Company: Financial Advisor / Edward Jones

Branch: U.S. Marine Corps

Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Private First Class / Sergeant

Service Dates:  2001 - 2005

Work you did: Mortarman (Infantry) / Security Forces / Martial Arts Instructor / Scout Sniper Platoon, H & S Co., 1st Battalion 8th Marines

Brief story that stands out from your service time: A couple years back, the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) contacted the alumni in our region to see if we would be interested in doing a Tough Mudder race. I immediately signed up. Having been out of the Marines for several years, I had been wanting to do something fun and reminiscent of the obstacle courses we had to regularly run during training. In all, I think we had nearly 25 Wounded Warriors on our team, including a double-leg amputee. It rained all day, so the entire course became a muddy challenge to navigate (not just the obstacles) and it took us longer than expected, but we started the course as a team and 11 miles and 25 obstacles later, we finished as a team. All the while we took turns carrying the WWP flag as our guidon. It was a great opportunity to connect with some fellow veterans, represent a great cause, and show we still had what it took to conquer the Tough Mudder!

Louis DeCuir

Name: Louis DeCuir

Title/Company: Financial Advisor & Account Executive / Investor Securities Group

Branch: U.S. Navy

Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Ensign / Captain

Service Dates:  1979 - 2009

Work you did: Surface Warfare Officer

Brief story that stands out from your service time: I was in an indoctrination flight, and got airsick. I didn't want to throw up all over the cockpit, so I used my glove! I knew then that I didn't want to be an aviator.

Patrick Giddens

Name: Patrick Giddens

Title/Company: Lead Advisor / Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors

Branch: USAF, USAFR

Rank held at beginning of service and at end: 2Lt - Lt Col

Service Dates:  1983 - 2011

Work you did: Communications, Contracting

Brief story that stands out from your service time: While stationed in Torrejon, Spain, I closely worked with the Spanish civilian phone company for all of the communications needs for the base. A high urgent request came in to install a phone immediately for the general's home, but my Spanish counterparts told me it would take over a week. But, due to my negotiation skills of offering 6 packs of American beer, we got the line installed in two days!

Shane P. Dooley

Name: Shane P. Dooley

Title/Company: Financial Advisor / LPL Financial

Branch: U.S. Army

Rank held at beginning of service and at end: E-1 - E-4(P)

Service Dates:  1985 - 1990

Work you did: Radio Teletype Communications

Brief story that stands out from your service time: I miss the way the military community helps its own. No one in the civilian world can truly understand how hard it is to move around the globe. Processing in and out of other countries is only possible because of the help provided by people who are not sure they remember your name yet. :)

Name: Patrick Beagle

Title/Company: CEO / Managing Owner / WealthCrest Financial Services LLC

Branch:  U.S. Marine Corps.

Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Lt - Colonel

Service Dates:  1979 - 2004

Work you did: enlisted, then commissioned. Pilot

Brief story that stands out from your service time: I could tell stories all day but by far the most touching was the loss of a dear friend and colleague in an aircraft crash. Watching his widowed wife give birth to a child that would never know her father. Handing her the flag in one hand while she cradled her child. Understanding at that moment the true cost of service to our country and the sacrifices that are made by those that serve, not just in combat, but every day in preparation for something that may never be.

Don Trone

Name: Don Trone

Title/Company: Founder & CEO at Strategic Ethos 

Branch: U.S. Army  / U.S. Coast Guard and USCG Reserve

Rank held at beginning of service and at end: N/A

Service Dates: 10 years of active service

Work you did: Army infantry / Aviator and Watch Officer in Coast Guard rescue unit

Brief story that stands out from your service time: N/A

-- Check out the other years where ThinkAdvisor honored Advisors Who Serve(d).

-- Related on ThinkAdvisor:

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