CABOT, Ark. — Everyone’s goal is to turn their passion into a career and to make this happen, you usually need the right tools. For Army veteran Kyle Cox, that’s not just saying-- it’s his new reality.
“I started woodworking as a hobby and it just kind of blossomed from there and expanded,” Cox said.
Like many of his early projects, something wasn’t quite right in Kyle’s life. He said that he felt lost.
“I didn’t know what to do at all. I bounced from job to job. I was a bouncer at a bar, I worked at a tattoo shop, I went into network engineering [for] help desk. I just couldn’t really find my place,” he said.
Cox had found his calling years earlier, when he was serving in the U.S. Army straight out of high school.
“I graduated high school in 2003, two days after graduation I was leaving for basic training.”
Kyle served for 9 years and went on two deployments in Iraq before an injury ended his time in the military.
“It was hard for me, mainly because I was expecting to be in [the army] another 10 years. I was 10 years in and had just gotten my commission and graduated from college. I got injured and it just started the medical retirement process,” Cox said.
That’s when he connected with Semper Fi and America’s fund. Cox joined the apprenticeship program, and his new passion was born.
This program gave birth to his business, Cox's Custom Woodworks, and it's something that Cox literally sees the benefit of day in and day out.
“With woodworking and working with your hands. You’ve made something and you have something to show for it,” he said.
The fund has helped over 27,000 service members like Cox.
“They have other programs where they build houses for veterans with missing limbs. They do so much and it’s a great organization,” he said.
Now, Cox has taken the tools to turn his hobby into his new career. Even now, he still finds it hard to believe that he's into business.
“I would’ve probably told you that you were crazy. I didn’t know anything about business or want to go into business," Cox said. "It’s a lot of labor of love and if you enjoy what you do, you’ll probably do well at it.”