Rich Smigelski spent years of his military service jumping out of perfectly good helicopters for his job as a Navy combat cameraman and a search and rescue swimmer.
Aviation Rescue Swimmers live by the motto, “So Others May Live.” Now Smigelski applies that same principle of putting others first as a Movement Mortgage branch manager in Sacramento, Calif.
Smigelski is just one of hundreds of veterans connected to Movement. Take a moment Saturday on Veterans Day to honor those who have served in the Armed Forces.
After college graduation in 1982, Smigelski joined the Chrysler Corp. The car company struggled financially in the early ‘80s, and Smigelski left to join the Navy. He enlisted as a journalist and combat photographer.
Based in Puerto Rico, his ship left something to be desired. It was “horrible,” he says.
He volunteered to join the Navy’s search and rescue gig. He survived the intensive training and was one of just 13 to graduate. He participated in two rescue mission of crashed aircraft. Mostly he collected anti-submarine airfare rockets.
“The mission may be over, but those torpedoes are still worth money,” he says. “We had to go get them.”
In all, he spent five years in the active duty and one in the reserve. Although he loved his time in the Navy, the helicopters and guns damaged his ears.
“There was no hearing protection back then,” he says.
He managed a gym after leaving the Navy. Then he worked for Ameriquest in 1990, managing the call center and then as a sales rep.
Pretty soon, he had 16 years of mortgage business experience. When he heard about the 6 – 7- 1 process at Movement Mortgage, he was impressed by the company’s ability to close loans so quickly. He’s been here for a year and half.
“I met Casey (Crawford) and Toby (Harris) before I joined the company,” he says. “I loved the feel of the company and how you support your people like nowhere else.”