A SOLDIER’S JOURNEY by David Jordan
Owner of PATRIOT SANDWICH SHOP and founder of WE GOT YOUR SIX
I had been part of the Army and National guard for a total of 12 years, and I made a stupid career choice that moved me to Kentucky where I tried to make things work with an ex-girlfriend, and as you can imagine, that went sour. I ended up homeless on the streets of Kentucky during the winter, which sucks pretty bad. I got into a shelter in Kentucky, but they were not much help. There were 90 homeless veterans in the shelter with one person trying to help the homeless veterans; good attempt, epic fail. Lots of resources on the wall, lots of jobs on the wall, but no one trying to direct the homeless veterans on what to do next.
February 12, 2015, I went to a job interview at a hotel to be the executive housekeeper. A super easy job that I could do in my sleep because of previous experience. I had the second interview all lined up and she was ready to hire me, then she noticed my address and asked me about it. I told her it was the homeless shelter, and her attitude toward me completely changed. Now, I was not worth hiring. Because I was homeless, and they were afraid I would steal from them.
This rejection sent me spiraling down a dark tunnel where I saw only one way out.
I hit rock bottom and was a homeless worthless veteran. No one wanted to give me a chance because they only saw me as HOMELESS = WORTHLESS. Then the phone call came from my cousin, who wanted to bring me to Texas and help me get back on my feet.
So I moved to Texas and 6 months later I founded the charity We Got Your Six to help homeless veterans like myself. The average homeless veteran is homeless 4-7 years but most programs only let you stay there 3-6 months. How can anyone expect someone homeless that long, to be ready to go back into society in 3-6 months?
You have two types of homeless: homeless by choice and homeless by circumstance.
I was the latter and wanted to change it, but I needed the right help. I was not getting that from the shelter I was in. So, I took all the things I saw FAILING and my two partners and I developed a TWO-YEAR program, which offers adequate time to properly develop the veterans and help address a lot of the issues that led to them being homeless, as well as develop good habits to prevent it from happening again.
We Got Your Six offers three major services: employment, housing, and therapy. We Got Your Six is the parent program that teaches employment skills, resume building workshops, practice interviews, and other useful professional needs. Heroes Village is the housing program that helps them remember how to be responsible with money and finances, helps prepare them for bills and responsibilities, develop a personal budget and spending plan, etc. “4 Legged Healers 4 Heroes” is our animal therapy and interaction program, also connecting them to service animals for those who need and qualify.
We Got Your Six does not receive government assistance or grants. All our money comes from private donations, fundraisers, and events that we do. To help fund We Got Your Six, I created Patriot Sandwich Company to be a for-profit revenue source and be able to donate money to We Got Your Six and help fund some of the programs. Patriot Sandwich Company opened its doors February 10, 2020; one month before COVID-19 hit and shut the country down. Despite the dark times, our shop kept pushing along. While other businesses closed for good, we forged ahead and did everything we could to not only survive the pandemic, but also showed our community that we appreciated them by giving back to the community. We gave out special kits of food to first responders and medical staff fighting COVID-19, so even when we were struggling, we made sure we looked out for our community.
Patriot Sandwich Company is honored to have recently received Best of Denton County 2020 “Best New Restaurant.” We’re proud to serve high quality food and greatly appreciate that our community supports our mission to END VETERAN HOMELESSNESS.
Our Patriot Sandwich Company serves as a museum to honor our military with memorabilia from all branches and eras, offers a great UNIQUE dining experience, and helps give back to the community all at the same time. Afterall, where else can you learn about the military, feed your family, and help a local charity all at the same time?
If this sounds like a mission you’d like to get involved in, you can support We Got Your Six through donations or consider becoming a Patriot Sandwich Company franchisee. I’m currently working with franchise consultant Irving Chung to franchise so we can reach more people throughout the country. The more shops I open, the more homeless veterans I can help, the more lives we can impact and change.
Each franchise will make a small donation from that shop to We Got Your Six and the integrity of the military will be ensured by myself so that I know the shops are paying respect to the military the way it should be done. Thank you the Dallas US Veterans Chamber of Commerce for all your help with building my company and charity. Irving’s knowledge of franchising has been invaluable and thank you to veteran owned Blu Dragonfly LLC for designing my websites and the beautiful truck wrap to market We Got Your Six. The Veteran Community is truly a blessing.