On August 7, 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington created the Badge for Military Merit, now known as the Purple Heart. Purple Heart Day commemorates the medal’s origins and an estimated 1.9 million Purple Heart recipients wounded or killed in combat over the last century.
In recognition of Purple Heart Day, Drexel Hamilton honors the members of our team who are recipients of Purple Hearts.
Lawrence Doll, Founder and Chairman
When Lawrence Doll (LD) was 19 years old, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the Vietnam War in 1968 and 1969. During that time, he was wounded twice, the second time undergoing a 4 month recovery in a hospital in Guam.
LD’s duty in Vietnam earned him 2 Purple Hearts, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and a prestigious appointment to the United States Marine Corps Honor Guard in Washington, DC.
When he returned home from duty, he struggled in his transition from military to civilian life. But he never forgot the people who helped him.
Understanding that veterans traditionally struggle finding work after returning from duty, Doll founded Drexel Hamilton to hire the Veterans who served our country, especially those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jerry Majetich, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Veteran Initiatives
Jerry Majetich served four tours in Iraq with the US Marine Corps. In October of 2005, during his final deployment with the psychological operations division, his vehicle was struck with an IED. As his body caught fire during the explosion, he was shot four times.
Burns covered 100% of his face and 37% of the surface of his body. He lost both ears, his nose and some fingers. He suffered ruptured intestines and abdomen. Jerry has undergone more than 74 surgeries.
Jerry received several awards for his service, including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart in 2006.
Scotty Smiley, Associate, Capital Markets
Scotty Smiley attended the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 2005, while leading a 45 man Platoon in Mosul, Iraq, Scotty found himself in front of a suicide car bomb. Shrapnel from the blast blew through Scotty’s eyes leaving him blinded and temporarily paralyzed; he woke up in Walter Reed Army Medical Center a week later. After this incident, Scotty was determined to continue to serve in the Army, becoming the first blind active-duty officer in military history.
The Army Times named Scotty “Soldier of the Year” in 2007 and in 2008 he won an ESPY as the world’s Best Outdoor Athlete. After receiving a Master of Business Administration from Duke University, Scotty taught the core course in leadership at West Point and then commanded the Warrior Transition Unit at West Point’s Keller Army Medical Center. Scotty is a recipient of the Army’s prestigious MacArthur Leadership Award and holds an honorary PhD from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY. In 2010, Scotty received a Father of the Year award in New York.
After many years of service, Scotty retired from the military in 2015. Over his military career Major (Retired) Smiley received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart; Combat Infantry Badge, Ranger Tab, Airborne Wings and Combat Diver Qualification Badge.
On behalf of all the employees of Drexel Hamilton, we thank each and every Purple Heart recipient for fighting for our country’s freedom.