Marine finds new career after combat

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January 15, 2014 12:58:39 PM PST
A non-profit founded in Philadelphia has helped a local Marine wounded in Iraq find a new career back home.

30-year-old Gary Laughlin entered the military right out of high school in Northeast Philadelphia after 9/11.

He thought he would always be a Marine. But in 2008, he suffered a terrible back injury in Fallujah.

Laughlin explains, "It's a very chaotic city. There's a lot going on. During the course of combat operations, I was injured."

After several years of surgeries and rehab, Laughlin's medical officer suggested he should start thinking about what to do with the rest of his life.

"I was in shock," Laughlin said. "I thought I was going to be a Marine forever."

Gary heard about Wall Street Warfighters, an organization that recruits and trains service-disabled vets for jobs in the financial field.

"I said, 'Wow, this is something I need to look into.' So I called them right away and they said, 'You'd be a great candidate,'" Laughlin said.

A few years later, Gary became a Wall Street Warfighter and was then hired at Franklin Square Capital Partners.

On November 25th, Marine Captain Gary Laughlin became a financial sales associate at Franklin Square.

The transition back into civilian life for wounded vets is often difficult.

"Being that the cofounders of this program and those who are involved in it are military veterans themselves, they knew that the transition was very important," Rich Murphy of the Wall Street Warfighters said.

Gary is the only veteran among nearly 200 employees at Franklin Square.

"He's had a different life experience than many of the folks we have in the firm. I think the life experiences that veterans have and disabled veterans have are very meaningful," Franklin Square CEO Michael Forman said.

And Gary is now adjusting well to civilian life. Along with his new career, he was honored for his military service in Iraq at the last Philadelphia Eagles game two weeks ago and he's engaged to his high school sweetheart, Laura Nowicki. They plan to marry next year.


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