A former Wall Street analyst and veterans advocate had some advice for employers: If you want to help veterans, hire them.
Brian Kinsella, a former U.S. Army captain and former Goldman Sachs (GS) analyst, told Yahoo Finance on Monday that the best way to honor veterans and reduce the epidemic of suicide is to help them with employment prospects. Kinsella is the co-founder of Stop Soldier Suicide, a civilian non-profit organization dedicated to preventing soldier suicide.
"The data we see tells us that a lot of people that reach out to us for help are not necessarily struggling with post-traumatic stress or combat-related issues, it's more geared toward the transition process with jobs ultimately being a key part of that," Kinsella told Yahoo Finance's YFi AM.
Wall Street banks have quietly emerged as big supporters of the movement to hire former service members. According to Kinsella, Goldman's Veterans Integration Program (VIP) does an exceptional job of helping attract veterans and placing them in roles that best align with their skillsets.
"It was awesome to see how the banks were some of the first major companies to respond," Kinsella said. “In fact, Goldman has and really leads the way in its veteran transition program."
Kinsella’s own journey with the armed services began after receiving an Army ROTC scholarship to Johns Hopkins, where he graduated in three-and-half years. Upon graduation, he entered active duty.
It was during the summer of 2006 while serving as a platoon leader, where he encountered the issue of suicide. An 18-year-old woman in his platoon attempted to take her life during her deployment in Germany.
After leaving the Army in 2010, he began to look for work on Wall Street. At the time, there were not a lot of job transition programs, he said. Kinsella eventually landed at BNP Paribas and later spent many years at Goldman Sachs as an energy sector analyst.
He also started SSS in 2010, alongside two fellow veterans, Nick Black and Craig Gridelli, after seeing the issue of military and veteran suicide first hand.
Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.