SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - He served his country, now he's serving our community. A Minden native has turned his passion for recycling into a small business.
After 32 years in the Army and Army Reserves, Windell Bonner now sees a different kind of combat.
These days, he works towards ridding the Shreveport-Bossier area of junk, helping people reclaim and reorganize their lives.
"Some of these people can't find help anywhere else and people to go in to do the stuff that we do. So, we go in and help those people, my team, my wife and I and then we have a team of three or four more people that come in," explained Bonner, "[We] help them declutter, when they accumulate so much stuff to the point they can't handle it, then we come in and handle it for them, and make it easier for them so they have a piece of mind"
Three years ago, Bonner brought JDog Junk Removal and Hauling to northwest Louisiana.
"During that time, work was hard to come by and the transition from the military to civilian world was a lot easier because you're doing it the military way."
The franchise empowers veteran entrepreneurship, allowing owners to serve customers the way they have served their country.
"For me, it's a sense of pride," he said, "It's a sense of giving back to the community. The same thing that you did in the military, we gave back to the country, now we give back to the community. It's a way of helping and you can't help no other way. If I were to just come out of the military and do a regular job, I wouldn't be able to help anybody but myself."
Bonner takes items that can be reused or resold and either donates them directly to people in need or he resells it and gives the money to his church in Minden, St. Rest Baptist Church, for their charitable work.
"[Why do you do this?] Because that's community service. I believe we are put here to help people who cannot help themselves. If you're in a position, if you have the fortitude, you have the body and the mind to help people, then you should not sit at home and not do anything. You should go out and help those people it's just a God-given gift."
Bonner has recently been named the first-ever JDog of the Year award winner, out of 130 franchises nationwide.