Cafe New Life, Opening Soon

éSilhouette of a soldier against the sun.

Growing the Next Mission

Podcast of Blog Post:


Today I want to recognize a project that’s still in its early stages of development, yet one that, I think, has great promise. Maybe it’s my American, Middle-Western roots, but after all:  who couldn’t get behind a farmer with a little bit of attitude? The article for the day is from the website Food Tank, entitled “STAG VETS Showcases Veterans in Culinary and Agriculture.”

Jon Jackson is a former member of the United States Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, out of Fort Benning, Georgia, a veteran of six deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For those of you who might be wondering: yes, that means he was an Army Ranger.

And yes, therefore, he is a man who has known War up close and personal. He admits the scars that he bears as a result.

And he is determined never to forget that he still has what it takes to do what needs to be done.

As well as determined never to leave any veteran without at least one viable option to remember the same.

For you see: he wants to create an organization that can introduce homeless veterans who suffer from War’s wounds to the fine arts of growing food and then serving it up on a well-planned plate.

I have to smile at the thought of a former Army ranger turning his energies onto agribusiness and the restaurant industry.  Sort of reminds me of the opening scene of My Best Friend’s Wedding, when the late Chicago chef, Charlie Trotter, roars at this kitchen crew, “I will kill your whole family if you don’t get this right.”   Thank God for that staff that Julia Roberts was not that picky.

I hope that Mr. Jackson will forgive the joke, for in fact his goals are quite serious—and quite ingenious. He saw opportunities and he seized them, in a way a good combat veteran would: strategically, passionately, and with an eye to service to the public, a service that might not be about protection this time, but will still be about the highest quality product that can be provided.

And opening up a world to veterans who might otherwise have forgotten themselves in a world that has forgotten them.

Check out  Let’s get the food on the table.

Until tomorrow, be well,


How to Succeed in Business

Silhouette of a soldier against the sun.

By Really Trying

A recent article from the Miami Herald in the United States discussed the challenges and rewards facing veterans who wish to become, as they put it, vetrepeneurs: For Military Veterans Who Want to Become Entrepreneurs, the First Steps Are Usually the Hardest.”

An easy one today: how could I not feature an article that highlights so well how some veterans, in spite of their difficult War experiences, are finding ways not only to live out how they still have what it takes, but even more to reach out to show other veterans that they still have it as well.

About two-thirds through the article, you’ll find the following statement by a former United States Navy pilot, Rob Ceravolo, as he reflects on the challenges he faced starting up his Tropic Ocean Airways down in Key West:

Ceravolo said that he and [his partner] made “a lot of bad choices” in the early going. They also struggled to create a teamwork environment that they were used to in the military.

“We were hiring for skill instead of for attitude,” Ceravolo said. “In the military, they say hire for attitude and train for skill. We learned a lot of lessons in that.”

How many times I have heard combat veterans lament the lack of such values as teamwork and attitude in the broader communities to which they return. While at times I believe that they can be a bit hard on some of the civilians they encounter, many times:  they’re spot on.

Not everybody is willing to do what it takes to get the job done.

That, my combat veteran friends, is exactly what you were not only taught to do. It’s what you went out and lived.

Sounds as if some folks in South Florida might be interested in finding out if you’re still willing to remember that.  Good luck.  To them.  And to you.

Until tomorrow, be well,


For a list of links to organizations dedicated to 

Helping veterans move into businesses

Check out my Business Connections (Resources) page.

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