In the heart of a battle in Iraq, Rob Milmore came racing around a corner and plunged 35 feet into a well. He broke his wrist, fractured three vertebrae and dislocated his hip. Listen to him tell the story and you'd think he stubbed a toe.
He recuperated in Iraq and within weeks was back in action.
Milmore, who left the Army in the fall of 2011, carries quite a resume.
He's a West Point graduate, was an instructor at the U.S. Army Ranger School and is ready for a career, like so many other 20-somethings. A relatively new program, Wall Street Warfighters, is helping Milmore and other service disabled veterans land a job in the financial sector.
Milmore, who grew up in Cornwall on Hudson, N.Y., hopes to have a job in private wealth management or trading this summer.
"I've had unprecedented access to these firms," said Milmore, 29, noting that the introductions made through the program carry added weight.
Since Wall Street Warfighters launched in December of 2008, there have been 36 soldiers enrolled — they are called students — and all of them have received a job offer at the end.
Wall Street Warfighters Executive Director, Katie Haddock a retired Marine, was the press secretary to former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace. Having been around soldiers for decades, does she think a stronger military presence will help the financial industry, particularly since that sector has struggled with public image in recent years?
"Any organization benefits from the integrity and straightforward, honest approach," Haddock said. "Sure, we obey, but we have an absolute obligation to disobey any order we believe to be illegal or immoral. … These soldiers are simply unflappable. The pressure of very high stakes decision-making is nothing new to them."
A new kind of training
Once enrolled in Wall Street Warfighters, soldiers take part in several components of the program:
1. Training: As part of their training, they'll earn Series 7 and 66 licenses, required for many jobs in the financial sector, specifically in securities.
2. Education: They are enrolled in executive education courses at Wharton School in Philadelphia.
3. Face time: Soldiers visit offices and get key face time at top financial firms on Wall Street and across the nation.
Liberty National hosts soldiers
As part of Fleet Week, LPGA champion golfer Cristie Kerr and the members of Liberty National Golf Club hosted 50 service men and women for golf and a barbecue at the posh course today. The event raised $15,000 for Wall Street Warfighters.
"The No. 1 question we heard from soldiers when traveling the world [with Gen. Pace] was, 'Are they with us?' And a day like this," said Haddock, "demonstrates how much America is with us. It's a once-in-a-lifetime day of golf for 50 of them, but to their friends and family and fellow servicemen, it's shows how much support they have."
Kerr has been a vocal supporter of breast cancer awareness and says that events like Monday's are important.
"My husband and agent, Erik [Stevens] once told me, golf stirs the drink," she said. "It will open doors and we have found helping others is the most rewarding, whether for it's breast cancer or diabetes or the military."