Veteran Entrepreneurs

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Finding a job is often a challenge when veterans return to the Four States after having served their country. But that hasn’t been a problem for a group of area men.

Brian Rogers was in the Marine Corps, and runs 2Bravo Laser Designs. If you can come up with a logo and you want it put just about any kind of surface from metal all the way to leather, he’s your guy. Geoffrey Ward recently returned from a deployment in Afghanistan, and co-owns in and outdoor deals, a company that sells outdoor equipment.

“Being self employed to me is really awesome because I’m in the Air National Guard, so I get deployed and go on trips all the time, you know being able to have the leniency to take a break and step off to do that and come back and have my own job is pretty nice and convenient,” says Geoffrey Ward.

Both businesses are in the same facility on Gateway Drive South of Joplin. The two men say starting their own companies has made the transition from military to civilian life a lot easier.

“To be able to have the ability to provide those jobs and give back was a very important part of our business,” says Brian Rogers.

Two other businesses also share the same location, True North Enterprises and Neosho Hardscapes. In all, the four businesses provide jobs for 20 people who’ve worn a uniform for their country. But they aren’t done helping veterans just yet.

“We are establishing a non profit ‘Brotherhood of Warriors’ which will give us the ability to offer veteran therapy as well as business consulting if a veteran needs setting up a new business, we provide our experience,” says Brian Rogers.

Prior to moving to their current location about a year ago, most of the businesses were housed in the small business incubator next to the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.

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