Military service is difficult, demanding and dangerous. But returning to civilian life also poses challenges for the men and women who have served, especially when it comes to finding a meaningful career.
Now, one North Texas vet is working to change the future of other veterans.
Jason Waller, like other vets, struggled to find work after the war. After enrolling at SMU, he had an idea to put vets on a path of owning their own businesses.
It’s an idea supported by the university. Now, he is engineering entrepreneurs.
“From the moment 9/11 happened, I made the decision that I was gonna go ahead and join,” Waller said. “It’s a lot of the danger of course, but then the deprivation, too. You develop a lot of friendships with the locals. They're there, and they actually want you to be there.”
Waller’s military service includes a 15-month deployment to Iraq. He graduated from SMU in December with a management science engineering degree. His goal now is to help other vets.
“They’re stuck trying to transition,” he said. “Either they are in a job they don’t like or they're stuck working overseas or working stateside for a company that supports overseas operations.”
Through his company, Emergent Services, Waller wants to help vets transition by training them as independent adjusters who contract with insurance companies and go in after storms to help policyholders with claims. The income potential can be as much as $400 per claim.
“I was an insurance adjuster independent for two years. I worked Hurricane Ike and an ice storm in Kentucky,” Waller said. “That is exactly what you’re doing. You’re creating self-sufficient independent adjusters with a strong work ethic here to get the job done.
Waller is making his first hires now and hopes to deploy veterans who are independent adjusters to the Houston and Beaumont areas as well as Florida before the end of the year.