One Service member's trash turns into a treasure

Retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Deon Carroll and his wife Cynthia proudly display their newly launched business Prestige Trash Bin Cleaning. The company opened its doors in July, 2015 in Fayetteville, North Carolina (Photo Courtesy - Deon and Cynthia Carroll)

By Annette Coward, Army Warrior Transition Command

Every household has a honey do list, and for retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Deon Carroll, taking out the trash turned into a gold mine.

Carroll and his wife began the planning phase for their small business two years ago and opened the doors to Prestige Trash Bin and Cleaning, located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, July 2015.

“It was truly one of those moments where I was being a nagging wife, and it turned into an epiphany,” said Cynthia Carroll. “From that point on we began researching to see if this is something that we could possibly do.”

During his 26-years of service, Carroll worked as a driver, a gunner, a platoon sergeant and a drill sergeant. He retired after suffering severe back injuries.

“It was hard to adjust, I was used to a routine,” he said. "In retirement I stumbled. My wife really had to push me to get over the hump to pursue this venture.

Carroll added that the military was instrumental in helping me lay a foundation. You utilize your leadership skills and strategic planning in business.”

After retiring and with a drive to become an entrepreneur, Carroll would turn back to his secret weapon, the Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. According to Carroll, while in the WTB, he was provided many opportunities for training, making it easier to transition into the civilian sector.

"They were so helpful. I was able to take several classes, I researched several topics, and gained financial knowledge and training. Everyone, including transition coordinator Cedric Minor and staff members Martha Brown and Tony Pugh -- they all played a part in this venture. It’s like having family be part of this, they go above and beyond." he said.

Looking back, Minor says that Carroll had the drive and will to make his dream come true. “It was hard to tell how long it would take, yet I knew that he would make it happen sooner than later. He and Mrs. Carroll embraced many program opportunities and conducted a lot of research. I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with him, and I look forward to the future successes of his growing company.”

Carroll says his best business plan to date includes the warrior transition battalion and his business and life partner, Cynthia.

"She is my greatest asset, I really have to give her the credit."

Carroll, the proud co-CEO of a Veteran-owned business, has a message for other Soldiers and Veterans.

"Don't give up, work hard, and ask for help.”

Carroll is just one credit shy of obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in business management.

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