Continuing To Serve: South Bay Veteran Opens Junk Removal Company
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – When Sheldon Rhoads, who resided in Mountain View, retired from the U.S. Army in 2019 after serving over 32 years serving in Afghanistan, South Korea, and Germany, he returned to the Bay Area and reconsidered his next steps after.
The business property appealed to Rhoads, an outdoor person who enjoys being physically active. Last July, he started a local garbage disposal company as part of the JDog Junk Removal & Hauling franchise.
“I couldn’t think of anything more physical than removing trash and lugging things away,” Rhoads told Patch. “I’m not old, but as I get older I think it’s very important to stay physically and physically active.”
Rhoads said he was drawn to JDog’s mission to support veterans through job opportunities, including their goal of reducing veteran unemployment to 1 percent. Rhoads has also partnered with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System as part of its Compensated Work Therapy Program.
“Being able to serve the community like I did in the military was something I was connected to and really passionate about,” Rhoads said. “To be able to keep providing people with employment opportunities and to create something for me for my family as a company that can grow.”
While some veterans find it easy to figure out their career path after returning from an extended deployment, others have problems. But there are skills that military service veterans acquire that can be applied to civilian professions such as patience [and] a bit of discipline, “said John Wade, a Rhoads staff member and fellow veteran.
“You can be prepared for the ups and downs,” Rhoads continued.
Wade and Rhoads crossed paths in the military and got close when Wade moved into Rhoads’ Mountain View neighborhood a few years ago. When Rhoads came up with the idea of starting a business in retirement, Wade offered to help.
“I like that what we do has a personal touch,” said Wade. “I always believe that in any job – construction or any customer-facing job – the real job is in the details. Anyone can throw trash on a truck, but it’s the details. Sweeping up, leaving a place better than leaving it have found . “
According to its website, 60 to 80 percent of the items JDog takes away are donated and recycled.
“I feel good when we recycle something instead of filling a landfill with it,” said Wade.
Rhoads had no plans to start a business during a pandemic but said he took the risk. As it turns out, according to Rhoads, people who have been quarantined at home make the decision to get rid of them “when they look at things they likely had around the house for years”.
“So we did business with it,” he said. “We are by no means booming, but we are getting busy.”
The Rhoads JDog office currently serves Mountain View, Palo Alto and Los Altos. However, Rhoads hopes to expand further north and into the Bay Area. For the first eight months of this deal, it was only Rhoads and Wade who did the job.
But lately they’ve been able to hire more people to help, and Rhoads has been able to use his team-building skills from the military.
“I have this ingrained sense in which I need to be very aware of everyone’s wellbeing while we’re doing a job out there,” said Rhoads. “It is very rewarding not only to be able to take care of someone while they are working for you, but also to be able to get things done and provide service.”