World War I ended in 1918, and of the more than 65 million participants, none are alive today. With World War II over for 70 years now, the millions who served in that war are disappearing. Fortunately, many have had their stories recorded, giving us a deeper and more colorful understanding of a soldier’s life. But soldiers serve in the military in peace as well as in war, and those peacetime stories are often forgotten.
So following on our Memorial Day slideshow, ThinkAdvisor continues our four-year-old tradition of honoring advisors who served in the U.S. armed forces, whether in war or peace, with a second part for this Fourth of July weekend. The slideshow presents the names, images and what the advisors remember about or learned from their service.
Name: Robert Peyreigne
Title/Company: Complex Manager / Morgan Stanley
Branch: US Navy
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Ensign / LT
Service Dates: 1981 – 1988
Work you did: Flew A6 E Intruder
Brief story that stands out from your service time: The best story I have is the reunion with wife Betsy after being on a cruise for over nine months on the USS Coral Sea. It was so great to be back in the US. A picture was taken by a photographer and put in the paper the day after we got back.
Name: Joseph A. Campano
Title/Company: Senior Vice President, Branch Manager / Morgan Stanley
Branch: US Army, Military Intelligence
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: 2LT upon graduation from West Point, CPT (P) in July of 1993
Service Dates: 1983 – 1993
Work you did: Served as a Military Intelligence Officer in Fort Huachuca (AZ), South Korea, Pensacola (FL), Berlin (Germany), Monterey (CA) and Aberdeen Proving Ground (MD)
Brief story that stands out from your service time: I was stationed in Berlin during the fall of the Berlin Wall. Because of the nature of our mission in Berlin, suffice it to say that the members of our unit “may have known” about the announcement prior to “the breaking news” reported by American media in 1989. I was near “The Wall” on November 9th, but went back on the morning of the 10th with some friends and a sledgehammer to “procure” my piece of history. Every time I’ve moved to a new house since then, I’ve had to tell the movers “ Do not to touch those rocks….they’re coming with me.”
Name: Frank C. Carpenter
Title/Company: Registered Principal / Legend Equities
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Airman/Airman 1st Class
Service Dates: 1953 – 1958
Work you did: Security Service
Brief story that stands out from your service time: Lived in Alaska, Germany, Turkey, North Africa was quite taken by the differences in the cultures of the various areas, and that people are people the world over.
Name: Matt Carey
Title/Company: Financial Advisor / Blue Spark Capital Advisors
Branch: US Army
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: 2LT – CPT
Service Dates: 1988 – 1996
Work you did: Transportation Officer
Brief story that stands out from your service time: Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm changed my life. On August 2, 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and I found myself at the forefront of a massive deployment to the Middle East. I was XO of the First Cavalry Division’s Transportation Company and involved in a massive movement of troops and equipment from Ft. Hood, Texas, to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. This was a huge life experience that I would never have expected upon my commissioning into a peacetime Army designed to support Europe during an (unlikely) Soviet invasion. Six months in the desert running convoys in Saudi, Iraq and Kuwait was a major growth experience for me as a person and professional.
Name: J.D. Pellecchia
Title/Company: President / Pellecchia Financial Services
Branch: US Marine Corps
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Second Lieutenant – Major
Service Dates: 1989 – 1997
Work you did: Naval Aviator, EA-6B Prowler
Brief story that stands out from your service time: What stands out to me from my service is that the military instilled in me values which carry over to every aspect of my life. When I first heard “One Team, One Fight” I did not realize that over 25 years later I would still be fully embracing that approach to life, family, community and our world – the approach of comradery, teamwork, and serving with excellence. I actually entered the service as a fourth generation Marine and a third generation Marine Corps Aviator (…no pressure on my son!!). My Great Grandfather was an Infantryman in World War I. My Grandfather flew F4U Corsairs in the Pacific campaign of World War II. My Father was a Forward Air Controller (FAC) in Vietnam and flew an O-1 Bird Dog.
Although there was something important with several generations taking this path, my decision to serve was not only to follow in their footsteps. When I decided to join, it was about being part of something bigger than myself. The United States Marine Corps gave me that gift and the gift of being in a band of brothers and sisters from every walk of life in the United States. Together as a team that could not be divided; we were afforded the opportunity to see our country and our world. We learned what it takes to stand up as a citizen, community member, husband, father, and I even see it translating in serving my clients today. I have been blessed to have two great careers – as a United States Marine Corps officer and as a Financial Advisor where I am working with many great people both in and out of the military. Semper Fidelis.
Name: John Kulhavi
Title/Company: Managing Director, Wealth Management Advisor / Merrill Lynch
Branch: US Army
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: 2nd Lieutenant, Brigadier General
Service Dates: 1965 – 2000
Work you did: Tank Commander, Helicopter Pilot, Infantry Commander, General Officer
Brief story that stands out from your service time: Being shot down twice in Vietnam. Working for General James Mukoyama, a highly effective leader.
Name: Rusty Russell
Title/Company: President / Covenant Wealth Management
Branch: US Army
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: 2nd Lieutenant – Major
Service Dates: 1986 – 1995
Work you did: Platoon Leader, Chemical Defense Officer
Brief story that stands out from your service time: In 1989, I was serving as the platoon leader of an NBC reconnaissance platoon in the 3rd Infantry Division in West Germany. During that time, tension was increasing in Eastern Europe as the Iron Curtain was yielding to democracy. My wife and I had visited Berlin the year before, both West and East Berlin, and passed through the iconic Checkpoint Charlie and the accompanying museum. We’d seen the Berlin Wall, the East German guards, the Soviet troops first hand. The threat of a communist crackdown and the accompanying potential of military operations was building.
But on the night of November 9th, 1989, with less than a month before I was to return to the United States, Germans on both sides of the Berlin Wall swarmed the wall and the wall fell. Without a shot fired, the Cold War ended. About 2 weeks later, on a dark, cold, rainy November night, I was driving in town and stopped to adjust my windshield wiper. A small East German Trabant stopped next to me with 4 people crammed into its small interior. The mother rolled down her window and the father asked me for directions. In my best German, I replied that I did not know the directions and that I was an American. The two children in the back seat immediately sat up and looked out the window with a surprised and worried look in their faces. I waved and said, “Willkommen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland!” (Welcome to West Germany!) to which they smiled, relieved, and thanked me for my time and rode away. I will never know what propaganda-tainted thoughts came to their mind when they realized I was an American, but I am glad I was able to welcome them to freedom with a smile.
Name: Brendan Michael Rodden
Title/Company: Advisor Mastery Program for New Financial Advisors / Raymond James and Associates
Branch: US Marine Corps
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Private First Class – Major
Service Dates: 1991 – 2015
Work you did: As an enlisted Marine in the reserves worked as driver in a combat engineer battalion, and later as an officer on active duty served as a tank officer and light armored vehicle officer in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Brief story that stands out from your service time: The thing that stands out most from my military service is the birth of my daughter. She was born in August 2010 in the middle of a month long pre-deployment training exercise before my battalion deployed to Afghanistan. As the battalion executive officer I was only able to get out of the training exercise for two days for my daughter’s birth before going right back into training in the field, but thankfully my parents had come to assist my wife with my new born daughter and young son. After the month long training exercise I was home with my family for five weeks, but still working long hours preparing the battalion for deployment. At the end of the five weeks I led the advance party from the battalion to Afghanistan, and was deployed there for 250 days as my son likes to remind me. I missed most of the first year of my daughter’s life, but consider myself very fortunate, because I have seen many other Marines get notifications of their child’s births while deployed.
Before leaving the military I had decided on becoming a financial advisor, and received my certificate in financial planning from Boston University, and passed the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exam. I was supported by the local Financial Planning Chapter in Richmond, Virginia, where I won their first scholarship to take a CFP preparation course before taking the exam. I was also accepted into the program offered by the Wall Warfighters Foundation, which assists military personnel transition over into the financial services industry. The Wall Street Warfighters program allowed me to attend training at FINRA, and even going to the Securities Industry Institute at Wharton.
Name: Patrick A. Kujawa
Title/Company: Regional Director / Halbert Hargrove
Branch: US Navy
Rank held at beginning of service and at end: Ensign/Lieutenant
Service Dates: 1990 – 1994
Work you did: Officer, Surface Line