But after he was honorably discharged from the military in late 2011, he applied for more than 100 police and government jobs around the country, and faced rejection after rejection. “I thought it would be easy to walk out with 10 years in military service into a police officer job, but that was untrue,” Perez said. “I felt like I did everything for this country and they didn’t want to help me out.”
Rather than continuing to apply for jobs, Perez decided to switch tactics and apply for franchise opportunities, hoping to provide a living not just for himself and his family, but for other veterans struggling to find employment.
That decision led to a quick turnaround in Perez’s fortune: Within a day of applying for a Meineke Car Care Center franchise, the franchisor called him back. Three days later, Perez was flown to corporate headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., where he met with franchise executives. Meineke discounted his franchise fee by 25 percent and offered him financing lower than bank rates. Tom expects to post sales in excess of $500,000 this year.