Vets2Success is cooking up careers

Eric Dehm
April 10, 2018 - 11:22 am

Photo courtesy Vets2Success


There are necessities in life, with food near the top of the list for all humans. Slightly further down the list (or perhaps equivalent with food for some) is where you'll find baked goods and beer. Ok, so they may not technically be "necessities" but try telling that to someone who starts their day with a doughnut, or enjoys a brew at the ballgame. 

The point is, there will always be a customer base for the food and beverage industry, and that's something former Navy Corpsman, and current chef, Bryan Jacobs recognized as an opportunity for his fellow veterans. During an appearance on the Morning Briefing radio show, Jacobs recounted a very difficult time in his life after leaving the Navy.

"I ended up living in a Honda Accord under a bridge right next to the Hampton Roads VA," Jacobs said. "I was there going 'I can't believe I'm sitting here,' just like I couldn't believe I was sitting in the desert in Iraq. It was just like 'how did I get here?'"

He was able to get back on his feet and ended up succesfully pursuing a career in the culinary industry that's taken him around the world. Still, the memory of those struggles remained and when combined with the tragic suicide of his younger brother, a Marine Corps veteran in May of 2014, Jacobs made the decision to do something to help his fellow vets. 

Photo courtesy Vets2Success

When Jacobs reflected on what in his life had helped him the most, the culinary arts were at the top of the list, and thus the idea for Vets2Success was born. The organization provides training in three tracks consisting of culinary arts, baking and brewing with the goal of rehabilitating veterans and helping them readjust to life as contributing members of the community.

"It's hard work but that's something that veterans understand," Jacobs says of working in kitchens, bakeries and breweries. "It's one of these things where if you want a career that is going to constantly give you opportunity and can take you anywhere in the world, this is the career for you."

You can hear the full interview with Jacobs below by clicking Play to stream now or cliciking Share and selecting Download from the available options.