GRAND OPENING — The Brocks celebrate the grand opening of JDog.

Air Force veterans Danny and Teresa Brock have served their country. Now, they’re serving their community.

The husband-and-wife duo celebrated the grand opening of their business, JDog Junk Removal & Hauling, last week with a ribbon cutting ceremony and meet-and-greet at Inventrek Technology Park.

“This is huge for us,” said Danny. “We stepped out of our comfort zone.”

The opening of the Kokomo franchise marks the first JDog franchise to come to Indiana, bringing another first to the City of Firsts. It’s also a first in the veteran world. The company is the only U.S. military veteran brand.

Franchises are awarded exclusively to military veterans and their family members. The mission is to offer business ownership opportunities to veterans. Danny said he’s looking forward to hiring additional veterans down the road as his franchise grows.

“We have made a lot of connections, and that’s one of the things we’ll be doing,” said Danny about the possibility of hiring additional veterans.

Teresa commended the JDog company for its work in helping employ veterans. Many times, she said companies are hesitant to hire veterans because they don’t always understand those veterans’ resumes or are concerned about their ability to readjust to civilian life. Having a company that actively seeks to hire veterans is making a difference, she said.

Teresa said it’s also nice to be surrounded by veterans, as it’s something she grew accustomed to while serving in the military.

Native to Kokomo, Teresa enlisted in the Air Force in 1978 and completed six years of service as non-commissioned officer in charge of obstetrics and gynecology at the Wurtsmith Air Force Base (AFB) in Oscoda, Mich. She currently works as electronic circuit board repair for General Motors.

Danny joined the Air Force in 1976 and retired after 20 years of service as superintendent of the Nuclear Weapons Requirement headquarters air combat command at the Langley AFB in Hampton, Va. Danny and Teresa met while serving in the Air Force at Wurtsmith.

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The couple got into owning a JDog franchise after they sought to open their own business. He and Teresa have spent years renovating houses as a hobby, and they were looking into that type of work. When searching the Internet, Danny ran across JDog, a Philadelphia-based company that began offering franchises in 2014, and he and Teresa said they immediately knew it was a perfect fit for what they wanted to do.

“Danny and I wanted to own a business that embraced the military ethos and community feeling we missed when we moved back to Indiana,” said Teresa. “As our company grows, we look forward to providing more job opportunities to other veterans in the area and providing our community with this unparalleled service the military way.”

Now, the couple is looking forward to their recognizable camouflaged Hummer, trucks, and trailers hitting the local roadways.

Danny and Teresa said they believe their business is filling a need in Kokomo, saying there aren’t many options for locally-based junk removal and hauling services.

Teresa has been busy drumming up business at her work and even with people she has run into on the streets, she said.

“There was a woman, and she was like, ‘What do you do? My mom just passed away, and her basement is filled with refrigerators and canned food.’ I said, ‘Well, we’ll haul it out of the basement. You don’t even have to touch it,’” Teresa said, adding that she believes the service will be especially helpful for seniors who are unable to move big items themselves.

Danny added the company also encourages reusing and repurposing items in an effort to send as little material as possible to landfills.

“The business model itself is to recycle as much as possible, repurpose as much as possible. In other words, if you have something and you think someone else will benefit from it, get it to them,” he said. “We had someone already who was giving away a good refrigerator, and someone was needing a refrigerator. Through some of the small business connections we’ve made, we made that happen. If there’s a need, fill it.”

To schedule a service with the local JDog Junk Removal & Hauling, call 765-210-9414.