ORLANDO, Fla. - Purpose, direction and motivation are more than words for United States Army veteran Kyle Evans. They're a formula for success.
"As a service member, this is something that's ingrained in you from day one," Evans said. "And it really changes the way you live your life."
When he was 20 years old, Evans enlisted in the Army as a way to escape the small Virginia town where he grew up.
Five years and two tours in Iraq later, his military career suffered a major setback.
"I was wounded in 2007 by an improvised explosive device. We rolled over a triple-stack IED and it blew up directly underneath our seat," Evans said.
Evans was forced to retire in 2010 and moved to Orlando with his wife and son.
Fast forward to today, and he's the president and founder of Redcon Solutions Group, a security-service provider in Central Florida.
"As an entrepreneur, and as an employer, I need good employees who are mission-focused in order to allow us to continue to excel," Evans said. "And I think that's one of the core traits that veterans bring."
Moreover, he is not just saying that.
In 2016 alone, Evans hired more than 50 veterans to a staff already rich in military background.
"We understand that for a lot of people this may not be a career. But it could be, just like the military, an incredible stepping stone to allow you to continue that purpose, direction, and motivation to find your niche and be successful," Evans said.
Evans knows first-hand the difficulties of transitioning from military to civilian life. He says it's a process that starts with finding a job.
"I think by having that purpose of getting up every day, and having to go to work, and having to fulfill a mission, it will motivate you to keep going and be successful," Evans said.
While he is proud of his company's structure, he says he's not alone with it comes to helping veterans adjust to living in Orlando.
"There are so many veterans here," Evans said. "Of course, Mayor Dyer has his initiative to make Orlando the friendliest city for veterans in the United States. I think that's very attractive."
On this Independence Day, Evans said he is celebrating, but also remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
He also has this message for his fellow veterans:
"Never stop serving. You can come home and make your community a better place than where you left it. Just keep putting one foot in front of the next and eventually you're getting through whatever hard times are ahead."
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