CONCORD — Jeff Carr now lives by the slogan, “We’ve served our country, now we are serving the community.”
Once working at a corporate business, Carr’s newest profession is geared toward employing fellow military veterans and current service members.
Last August, Carr and his wife, Erin, started a local JDog Junk Removal & Hauling franchise in Cabarrus County and the surrounding areas.
“I wanted something different and something that was more veteran-connected,” Carr said. “After a lot of soul-searching, and talking to family, I felt like this was for me. I jumped out of corporate, took a leap of faith, and bought the franchise.”
There are 200 JDog franchises across the country, all of which are owned and operated by veteran and military families.
Carr served in the Marines until 2001.
After he got out of the military, he earned a criminal justice degree at Radford University in Virginia.
Carr thought he was destined to be a police officer, but instead ended up working as a security analyst at Advance Auto Parts’ corporate office and moved his way up the leadership ladder. He then worked as director of technology for a couple of years at the Capital One office in Richmond, Virginia.
It was while he was in Richmond that he felt the need to do more, to give back to the community.
He learned more about JDog Junk Removal & Hauling, and felt good about opening his franchise in Cabarrus County.
His truck, which has a JDog Junk Removal & Hauling wrap, sits in the parking lot at Publix in Harrisburg along Highway 49.
“We really love the area,” Carr said. “We’ve been down in this area a lot, the franchise was available down here, and it was a good market to start the business, so this is where we decided to make home.”
The local JDog franchise, which serves Concord, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, parts of Charlotte and nearby locations, is aimed at employing current military service members and veterans.
JDog Junk Removal & Hauling was ignited in 2011 in Pennsylvania by Jerry Flanagan and his wife, Tracy.
With no other JDog operation closer than Raleigh, Carr determined that helping the Cabarrus County community was his calling.
“(JDog) sells strictly to veterans,” Carr said. “Their goal was to keep the veteran unemployment rate under 1 percent.”
JDog is hired to haul just about everything, except for hazardous waste, for any member of the community. They dispose of old furniture, clean up yard waste, clear warehouses or houses and demo kitchens.
Carr said that about 80 percent of the items are either donated or recycled. Items go to places that include Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, schools and other donation centers.
JDog prides itself on arriving on time and getting the job done the right way and the most ethical way.
Still, the job is fulfilled by local service members who are looking for employment.
“That’s a big part of my business,” Carr said. “I have some contacts through the VA so that I can employ some folks that are transitioning out of the military and into civilian life. This gives them a place to have a home again where they are working alongside other vets who have had the same conflicts and experiences.”
Carr currently has one employee, 22-year-old Parker Dahlman, who serves in the Army National Guard Reserves.
As the local JDog expands, Carr is looking to hire more service members for hauling and removing junk.
On Monday, JDog Junk Removal & Hauling worked on a project on Greenbriar Road in Concord.
“It doesn’t just have to be your house,” Carr said. “It could be your garage turning into a storage unit or you have some old furniture you need to get rid of because you are getting new furniture. There are so many things this business can help with in the community, but a big part of it is removal.”
To contact JDog Junk Removal & Hauling to have items removed, or if you are a veteran or military service member, call 844-GET-JDOG or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit its website at jdogjunkremoval.com.