Junk Removal Co. Expands to NKY with Focus on Opportunities for Veterans
Expanding any business into a new territory is fraught with challenges, never mind in the middle of a pandemic, but JDog Removal & Hauling in Alexandria is thriving. They’re finding creative ways to “pivot” and local veterans and military families are benefiting with jobs during a period of record unemployment.
“That’s what I enjoy most about operating this business,” said JDog owner Shawn Stroop. “I have the opportunity to do my part to reduce the veteran unemployment rate by hiring veterans and their family members.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor the unemployment rate in 2019 for veterans was 3.1 percent. In Kentucky the rate is 4.6 percent.
Stroop has a heart for veterans and military family members because is a retired Army officer and combat veteran with nearly 23 years of service. The Cincinnati native enlisted in 1989 and served in several campaigns including Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf, Defense of Korea, and Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia.
In 1997, he was awarded the Green-to-Gold Scholarship and attended Morehead State University where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 2000.
“Since that time, I served in multiple deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism in Africa and Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom,” he said.
His notable military achievements include being awarded the Bronze Star, two times the Defense Meritorious Service Medals, two times the Army Meritorious Service Medals, four times the Army Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and three times the Army Achievement Medals.
After Stroop retired in 2013, he continued to work in the field as a senior civilian and technical director for the U.S. Air Force.
“However, since I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the day-to-day struggle found me wanting to work for myself and become an entrepreneur,” Stroop said. “Enshrouded with the veteran values of respect, integrity, and trust, JDog was a perfect fit. I could open a business with some of the same camaraderie experienced in the military. Veterans often understand each other well and with my experience with dealing with PTSD, this was a natural venture.”
Stroop currently lives in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, where he operates JDog Jun Removal & Hauling JDog Carpet Cleaning. He also started a JDog in Cincinnati and now has expanded to Northern Kentucky.
In Northern Kentucky, JDog offers residential and commercial junk removal, estate cleanouts, appliance removal, and light demolition.
“We will continue to expand in our capacity for junk removal over the next two to three years in the Greater Cincinnati Area,” Stroop said.” Additionally, within the next 18 months, we plan to expand our services to include carpet cleaning”.
According to Stroop, JDog is not just a company, but “an experience.”
“A client has an opportunity to hire a hero and we have an opportunity to help the community,” he said. “By inviting a veteran in to remove your unwanted items, you hire a full-service junk removal specialist who will follow the same values of service with respect, integrity, and trust."
Written by Melissa Reinert, RCN contributor