NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. -- Ellen and Mustafa Browne weren’t looking for love when they deployed to serve overseas during the War in Afghanistan.
“I wouldn’t say fate, but it was just really lucky,” Ellen recalled.
Army Sergeant Ellen Browne and Air Force Staff Sergeant Mustafa Browne met on a whim at a dining hall on base in 2010.
“He walked in with his friends, and he told me to smile because I looked like I was very upset, mad and angry and after that, we started talking,” Ellen laughed.
The couple would return to America and marry, eventually bringing their family to Central Virginia. Now, they own and operate their own franchise in New Kent County called JDog Carpet Cleaning and Floor Care, a franchise that provides business opportunities to veterans and military families.
Jerry Flanagan started the JDog business for veterans by veterans. Flanagan served two years in the Army and two years in the National Guard.
“We served our country. We are military and they trust us,” he explained. “We’ve hired over 1,000 veterans through the whole system nationwide.”
The Browne family plans to hire other veterans as they get their franchise off the ground. They aim to provide opportunities to those who sacrifice so much for our country.
“As far as hiring other veterans, that’s the reason why we chose the JDog brand,” Mustafa stated. “It’s truly for veterans by veterans offering small business ownership to military family members and veterans it really hit home for us.”
A decade after the meeting, the 20-year war in the country where the Browne’s relationship started has now ended.
“It’s heartbreaking for the people we met there, the people who helped us,” Ellen said.
The couple welcomes the Afghan refugees who are settling in our backyards after leaving the only country they ever knew.
“What do people come to America for? For the opportunities that they can get - they can’t get anywhere else,” Ellen stated.
There are 240 JDog locations across the country including the JDOG junk removal company.