Jose Espinoza in military uniformThe men and women who serve our country devote years of their lives to protecting the nation they love.

They often witness difficult battles, but one of the most pressing fights returning veterans face is assimilating back into civilian life. After the regimenting and stress of active duty ends, the real challenge of beginning to find their place outside of the military begins. Often the difficulties faced by returning veterans is compounded by the physically, emotional, and mental injuries sustained while serving the country. As many veterans can attest to, finding fulfilling and meaningful employment after a tour of service can become a war unto itself.

Enabled Enterprises

It is these difficulties and the understanding that the community of returning veterans may be under served in employment services that led to the development of what would become Enabled Enterprises, a company built upon helping returning veterans find opportunities as an entrepreneur. Owens and McCabe are both veterans with a deep understanding of the unique challenges facing returning veterans as they attempt to return to a semblance of normal life. Casey Owens more so than both, having been confined to a wheelchair after an injury in Iraq led to a double amputation of both legs.

What began as with a simple showing of a new treaded wheelchair that enabled users to traverse areas normally inaccessible by conventional wheelchairs, quickly grew as the men soon realized the possibilities. The wheelchair itself presented to Casey Owens sparked the idea that if allowed the opportunity, Owens would be able to begin selling similar products to those who might need them as well.

That idea coupled with careful planning developed into the basis of Enabled Enterprises, a venture to not only help veterans assimilate successfully back into civilian life but give them the opportunity to give back to their community at the same time.

The wheelchair tracks were soon joined by a line of herbal supplements aimed at alleviating the particular ailments facing returning veterans and thus the available product line began.

The venture works by giving veterans access to the available products which they can then sell to prospective buyers earning a profit. While that in itself provides the basis for the business aspect, it is the support and training provided that truly showcase the good being done by Enabled Enterprises.

The company lodged its first victory and sale to the local Aspen police force soon after. The police force purchased two electric bicycles sporting similiar treads to the wheelchair initially showcased to Owens at the beginning of their venture. It was also not only the first sale for the company but also the first opportunity to actively help a veteran outside of the founding members with another local veteran, David Mills, closing the deal.

Though sadly founder, Casey Owens would not be able to share in the victory for long, having succumbed to a battle with a brain injury and PTSD, taking his own life, a tragedy becoming all too common among returning veterans.

E and R Auto Wrecking

In the same spirit of Enabled Enterprises, veteran Jose Espinoza has sought to find his own opportunities in small business as a veteran. Espinoza who served 18 years in the Army, returned home to continue his education, eventually earning a degree in business. Espinoza went on to create E&R Auto Wrecking as a means to create sustainable growth for himself and the community of veterans he serves in Modesto, CA.

Common to both Enabled Enterprises and E&R Auto Wrecking is the belief that returning veterans gain a sense of responsibility, action, and dedication through their training which carries well into the business setting. The skills honed during active service create not only superb leaders on the battlefield but also capable business people ready to take on the challenges facing entrepreneurs.