Moss Adams Voices

Daniel Solomon: Flexibility for Veterans

Daniel talks about his experience in the US military while challenging us all to be active for the veterans community.

Daniel Solomon

Daniel Solomon first considered the military when he was a kid, but it wasn’t until he was 18 that he enlisted in the US Navy. Now, 11 years later, Daniel is a finance officer with the US Army National Guard, in charge of running budgets and currency exchanges—all while working full time as tax staff in San Diego with Moss Adams. As part of the Veterans business resource group’s (BRG) celebration of Veterans Day, Daniel talks about what he learned in his experience with the military, the problems facing veterans in the US, and what we all can do today to be informed and active on behalf of the veterans community.

You’ve been with Moss Adams since January 2021, but you’re also a finance officer. How is it juggling two roles?

Usually, I’ll get my finance officer work done after I log off with Moss Adams. If I need time off, Moss Adams has been great with accommodating my schedule.

I can sometimes juggle the two roles easily, but there are weeks that are very busy. On average, I do a few hours a week in that role, then one weekend a month I participate in drills. We also have two drill weeks in the summer. Drills consist of trainings and physical exercise, mostly to make sure we’re ready to go if ever we get deployed or need to get pulled in for something like wildfires.

Before the US Army National Guard, you served for four years in the US Navy. Can you tell us about your role?

I was a psychiatric technician assisting the psychologists and psychiatrists. In my role, I worked in a holistic health clinic. We did massages and acupuncture for US Marines, and the officer let me oversee the clinic. I also was put in charge of the budget pretty quickly, even at 18 years old, so I guess they realized I liked math before I did.

Daniel Solomon in uniform

What were some of your biggest takeaways from your time serving in the US Navy?

It’s all about the people. I grew up in a small town, and I’d never met so many people with backgrounds different from my own. I learned to be on a team with people from so many different cultures. You realize everyone plays a big part to get things done. It made me more sensitive to what I do and say; I wouldn’t want to speak bad about someone on my team.

After you returned to civilian life, did missing your team inspire you to join the US Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC)?

Part of it was missing the team atmosphere, feeling like I was part of something bigger than myself. Going from the team atmosphere to feeling alone was hard on me. I felt lost, and I didn’t have a lot of drive while I was in college. It wasn’t until I found accounting that I realized there was something I liked and wanted to do.

I think that feeling is what leads to a lot of veteran depression and suicide. Veteran suicide rates are a lot higher than those of non-veterans. You go from always having a goal, being on the greatest American team, to not really knowing what’s next. Hopefully you can get a new job or get into college, but a lot of veterans don’t.

In honor of Veterans Day, is there more you can share with us that we should know about the veterans community?

A lot of veterans aren’t getting the care that they need, especially veterans from the Vietnam era. They have all these injuries from wars, but they’re not getting the care they deserve. For example, my uncle has cancer from the chemicals he was exposed to during the Vietnam war. He’s getting the same pension rating as a buddy of mine who isn’t sleeping well. I’m not saying my friend should get less care, but I believe my uncle deserves more.

If people are looking for a way to celebrate veterans on Veterans Day, they should look up their representatives and see how they’re voting on veterans’ issues. I think that’s more important than having a parade or waving a flag all over the place—that doesn’t necessarily make you a patriot. The best way to thank us for our service is to make sure you’re considering veterans when you’re voting.

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