From Iran Hostage to Independence: One Amazing Story

Hermening_Kevin_WhitehouseOne of the most powerful drivers that motivates FSI’s independent financial advisor members in their efforts to help Main Street American investors every day is the desire to give back to their communities and the people who have supported them throughout their lives. Each advisor has his or her own unique story about the important influences that shaped this desire to serve. As we seek to help advisors draw inspiration and insight from their peers, we are very pleased—and deeply humbled—to present one such story.

Before starting his independent financial advisory practice, Hermening Financial Group, in Wausau, Wisc., in 1989, Kevin Hermening served his country with pride as a United States Marine sergeant stationed at the American Embassy in Tehran. On Nov. 4, 1979, when Hermening was just 20 years old, Iranian students and other militants demanding the deportation of the Shah of Iran from the United States, where he was receiving treatment for cancer, attacked the embassy and its personnel. What followed was the Iranian hostage crisis, an event whose repercussions in the Middle East and in nearly every aspect of American foreign policy are still being felt today.

For 444 days, Hermening and 51 other Americans were held captive, with virtually no interaction with the outside world. Many of the hostages suffered extreme physical abuse and repeated interrogations. Hermening himself was locked in solitary confinement for over six weeks after a failed escape attempt in January 1980. “The only time I ever got out of that room in 43 days was to use the bathroom once a day—depending on their [his captors’] schedule—and to take three showers in the entire six weeks and one day that I was in solitary confinement,” he says.

For the complete story, see the full article in ThinkAdvisor from May 22, 2014.

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