Just three days after graduating from high school, Joe Young joined the Army. Why? Joe says, “It was almost a rite of passage.” At age 38, Joe’s father had already served 22 years. Originally, he was in the Navy but after losing a good friend while aboard the USS Louisville, he joined the Army during Korean War. Joe’s Uncle served in Vietnam, and two brothers also served in the military – one in the Army and one in the Air Force.
Joe served four years active duty and 2 years inactive. He was part of the 82nd Airborne Division, as an Army paratrooper, with a total of 75 jumps, and as a Tank Commander on Sheridan tanks.
Joe said, “Just serving in general was a high point.” A specific experience in the military sums up Joe’s adventurous side and his commitment and perseverance. In 1977 Joe was in Fort Stewart, Georgia for tank gunnery training. He was only an E3 at the time and his Sergeant, Ricardo Sanchez, couldn’t hit the target and asked if anybody wanted to take a run at it. Joe had never had done it before, but said, “I’ll take a run at it.” They ended up winning the tank gunnery contest, and broke the record with the highest score ever recorded for the 82nd Airborne. Joe said the experience taught him that “Having the confidence and commitment, and just believing that all things are possible, can help you succeed. And to have the mindset that there’s always a better way, if you go in search of it.”
After his time in the military, Joe had a long career in sales in the auto industry. But in October 2008, Joe was laid off, so he got into real estate and two years later he bought his Real Property Management Spokane County franchise in Spokane, Washington.
When asked how his military experience has helped him as a business owner, Joe said, “From a military side of things, you learn to persevere. You learn to explore other options and look at different ways to do things. It’s really all about perseverance.”
Even though Joe was recently granted disability, his positive attitude and perseverance prevails, both personally and as it relates to his business. “When you’re dealing with pain, you just find a way. It does take its toll and it won’t really get better, but you just deal with it and find new and better ways to do things. After a period losing some business, I came back from our annual conference rejuvenated, with a renewed interest and commitment to grow my business. We reinvented ourselves and now business is good it’s hard to keep up. I believe my best years are still ahead of me.”
Joe says, “I’m a Veteran at heart.” He says he is constantly thanking Vets. He goes out to VA cemetery every Memorial Day and puts flags out. He’s part of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Joe said, “I just love our Veterans. I actually officiated at a Veteran’s funeral last fall. It was really beautiful. May we never forget or Veterans.”