Camaraderie Is Common Ground for Veterans

Written by Gina A. Dabney in the November 2020 Issue

Scars and Stripes Coffee

The camaraderie that Veterans share is the inspiration behind the company, Scars and Stripes Coffee. This internet company, developed by Chad Watts and Brad Dean, provides employment and income opportunities to Veterans. By owning a business, the Veteran is empowered as they receive a hand up instead of a handout. The business model is sustainable because it is an open-market, for-profit company. Plus, there is a military-rank structure and the teams have a mission, purpose, and a community of accountability. “The core values have been there since day one,” Watts said. “It works very well.” 

Fostering Veteran Entrepreneurs

When joining Scars and Stripes, the Veteran will receive business guidance such as understanding taxes laws and evaluating business opportunities. One focus is helping them readjust to civilian life. Some are fresh out of military service while others have been out for years. “We are fostering well-adjusted Veterans,” Watts said. 

Jared Linder is a Squad Leader with Stars and Stripes Coffee. After meeting Watts and learning about the company’s mission, he joined. The journey has inspired him. For instance, he has met a mentor who is a millionaire and an older Veteran with whom he has developed a friendship. “It brought me back into the community working with Veterans across generations,” Linder said. “I jumped in to help and it has helped me.” After 9/11, Linder joined the military at age twenty-seven. Previously, he was working in construction. He served in Afghanistan and Iraq and appreciates the Veteran companionships offered through Scars and Stripes Coffee. “Once a soldier, always a soldier,” Linder said.

Located in 38 states, Scars and Stripes Coffee currently has 300 team members. Look for their booths at fishing and hunting events as well as farmers markets. Prior to Scars and Stripes Coffee, Watts and Dean worked together in medical sales. Watts, who wanted to work with Veterans, and Dean, who has been with the National Guard for more than 20 years, wanted to help Veterans be entrepreneurs.

Divine-inspired Mission

When Scars and Stripes Coffee was starting, the number eight was a divine-inspired theme. It began with the company’s first bag of coffee which was roasted on Nov. 8, 2018. During the Veteran Caucus held at the Oklahoma State Capitol, Scars and Stripes Coffee showed their presentation which contained a background song by John Rich. As the bag of coffee appeared on the screen, a team member pointed out to Watts the coincidence of the stamped date of Nov. 8, 2018 and the song which is entitled, “The 8th of November.”

“This blew me away,” Watts stated, “so I started thinking more about the number eight and what that meant.” In process was the development of a Bible scripture for their coffee bean. Their roasting partner, Todd Vinson, would give Watts the Scripture soon. In the meantime, Watts attended Easter service where the Pastor spoke about the importance of numbers in the Bible. “He spoke of the number eight and it means rejuvenation/being reborn,” Watts stated. “This keeps peaking my interest.” Thereafter, Vinson texted Watts the scripture for the company’s first roast: Romans 8:1. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1 KJV 

“This is when it hit me that we are doing what God would have us do,” Watts stated.

For more information, visit scarsandstripescoffee.com or call 405-205-1887.

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