Opinion: I wasn’t sure what I would do after the Marines. Opening franchises set me up for success.

When I thought about what I wanted my post-military career to look like, I wanted to do something that honored the legacy of service. I was not ready to stop giving back to my community and to my country. I found the opportunity to continue that work through the franchise business model. And today, I own and operate 12 local Dunkin’ franchises in San Diego, with two on the military bases on which I proudly served. Dunkin’ is a taste of home for many on base — I know it was for me.

When I left the Marines after serving as a helicopter pilot, I wasn’t accustomed to working alone. Throughout my time at Annapolis, Maryland, during two deployments and while training new pilots, I was used to collaborating with a team of highly driven service members all working toward a common goal. Like the millions of veterans who have come before me, the transition from active duty to civilian life was not an easy one. I am continuously thankful to my family for pushing and supporting me.

When I thought about what I wanted my post-military career to look like, I wanted to do something that honored the legacy of service. I was not ready to stop giving back to my community and to my country. I found the opportunity to continue that work through the franchise business model. And today, I own and operate 12 local Dunkin’ franchises in San Diego, with two on the military bases on which I proudly served. Dunkin’ is a taste of home for many on base — I know it was for me.

The responsibility of owning a local franchise business is not one I take lightly — and it takes a lot of work and determination. For so many — especially veterans — the barriers to business ownership can be burdensome, from a lack of access to adequate capital to an absence of critical support systems to a lack of business ownership experience. But the franchising system has provided me, and other veterans, the confidence, the resources and the support systems essential to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

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