Jerry “JDog” Flanagan always wanted to go to the university. But, growing up poor outside of Philadelphia with an alcoholic father and a working mother, he knew that it was not financially possible.
“I was not a good student of the school,” Flanagan told Fox News. “I really didn’t have a direction, my work ethic was not so great… I found myself to go into the military like my life right.”
He enlisted in the Army for two years, and was founded in 1989. Flanagan tried college thanks to the GI Bill, but stopped when he ran out of money. Jump job to job, from dishwasher to gas station cashier, Flanagan learned the ropes in the retail industry, eventually opening his own series of companies. When the recession hit, Flanagan threw the towel in the ring. Scrambling to start the next chapter, he did some research.
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Jerry “JDog” Flanagan (kneeling) took service in the Army to get his life on track.
(Photo by Jerry Flanagan)
“I was definitely interested in doing something that does not require inventory, it does not rely on the economy to be strong. And when I have done the research to junk removal it was a recession-proof business,” says Flanagan.
In 2011, Flanagan and his wife bought a jeep, went to the streets and tried to drum up business for JDog Junk Removal and Transporting. The embrace of military ethics of hard work, respect, and integrity, the customers kept calling.
“Our military values to give the customers we care about their property and their projects. People want to support the military, it is an American, veteran-owned concept and the customers are getting behind it,” says Flanagan.
ARMY VETERAN, 71, GRADUATES OF HIGH SCHOOL 52 YEARS LATER
As business took off, Flanagan’s mission changed. Seeing a chance to give back to his fellow brothers in arms, Flanagan together with the Veteran’s Association to hire vets.
“You must have a military family member only, or you must be a military veteran to qualify to be rewarded with a territory,” says Flanagan.
“I can’t say enough about how much it means for us as a family and how large it affected our lives,” says Kyle Gagnon, whose father is a military vet. The family bought a JDog franchise last year in the north of the state of New York. “If it wasn’t for JDog, I really don’t know what I would do with my life. I am grateful for the opportunity they offered us and his continued support, and our company successful.”
AIR FORCE MASTER SERGEANT FINDS PEACE THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY
Now in 2017, Flanagan has more than 200 military veterans and their families working under the JDog brand. This year alone, he hopes a bust in more than 75 new territories, which is his last 200 in total.
“Providing successful opportunities for veterans is my mission…we will be able to make five to ten thousand veterans in small business or a great career,” he said.
Please note that Flanagan’s full story above.