I’m walking down the side of the road, in the freezing cold in the heart of winter. I hear the sound of horns seep through the thin rubber of my ear buds. The people in the parking lot call me a yeti, and even a bush. Maybe it’s the long, green hair like strings growing from every part of my body. I am no stranger to this environment. Every weekend I do it and I have been for a year. It’s just turned 2014 and the winter isn’t over yet. The cold builds around me and the wind swiftly blows as I hold a sign reading, “Paratrooper Army Navy, NOW OPEN”, waving to passers-by.
Rewind to 2013 my father, a long time entrepreneur, had invested in a new idea. A store called Paratrooper Army Navy. He was part owner with a man named Chris. Chris, along with a manager, were completely in charge of the day-to-day operations, products, prices, etc. My father took my step brother and I to the storefront a few days after it had opened. Unbeknownst to us, we had no idea of his new investment. We went in, looked around, and he announced he became a new partner at Paratrooper Army Navy. He then introduced us to Chris and the manager. I was into military things as a child, (airsoft, toys, etc.) but didn’t know much about the stores products. I had noticed the manager was having trouble juggling a few jobs, so I offered assistance. Next thing I knew my father and brother were ready to go, but I wanted to stay and help out so I asked if they’d come back in a few hours. At 14 years old, I made a decision that would influence who I had become today.
I began working there on the weekends, coming up with the idea to go outside (in the rain, snow, or blazing hot) in a Ghillie Suit to hold a sign to get people to notice the store more. I began helping more and more, learning how to talk to customers, upsell, work the register and many other task. I started to really enjoy working at Paratrooper Army Navy. I was gaining new knowledge on the long forgotten facts I knew about the military. I stopped needing to ask someone what BDUs were, or how a P-38 worked and I actually understood what someone was looking for when they asked if we had “woobies” or MSS Systems.
I started out three years ago as ‘ghillie man’ or ‘yeti’ with a sign out in a blizzard. Now I’m, as Chris says: “a valuable asset to the company”, and it pushes me to be better, work harder and never stop. I earned my position at Paratrooper Army Navy. Today I see myself as a man prepared to work even harder to get where I want to be in the future. When I have a passion for something, there’s nothing that will get in my way!