A Vet’s Success: From Homeless to Hot Career

A MarineLocal California Marine Finds Success After Years of Homelessness | Veterans Affordable Housing Program from Camp Pendleton who spent more than two years homeless while attending college has taken control of his life, and finding success with hot sauce.

Mike Hanes, now an El Cajon resident has found a home for his product at a national grocery store, Whole Foods. His hot sauce, Dang!!!, is bottled in Vista, and Hanes credits his success to the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program, which is operated by Karen Archipley and her husband Colin in Valley Center.

Mike is a Georgia native, and was assigned embassy duty until the 2003 invasion of Iraq, where he conducted building raids and reconnaissance missions. Returning from Iraq he suffered from stress, anger issues, and other ailments. He was divorced while deployed, and when he returned after eight years in the Corps he struggled to survive in San Diego to be near his daughter. While his GI Bill paid for classes at a local college, he had no money for a home or food. He used his Marine Corp training to survive, and lived in a canyon near the campus while doing homework at the school’s computer lab.

After finally receiving disability payments for an injury he suffered in the service, Hanes spent more time thinking than being forced to survive. He knew he did not want to be dependent on disability payments to live, and applied his Marine survival training about wild plants to creating his product. He uses apple cider vinegar, peppers, and Himalayan salt to help the body absorb nutrients, and created a sauce with great taste and a long shelf life, while still being made out of raw foods. With help from the Archipley’s, Mike created a business plan and began marketing “Forager Mike’s SuperFoods.”

He is currently in talks with Whole Foods executives to get Dang!!! distributed nationwide, but if you don’t see it locally in California, Hanes also has a website: http://www.foragermikes.com. Prices are $18 for three 5-ounce bottles, which come in maca, spirulina and mesquite flavors.

The Veterans Affordable Housing Program was created to help vets like Mike, and is dedicated to helping low and moderate income, disabled, or transitioning veterans and their families find affordable housing in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Washington. We can help you by providing rent relief, down payment assistance, reduced-cost housing, subsidies, and more. Please contact us if you, or somebody you know, is a veteran and is in need of housing assistance.

Helping Veterans with the Veterans Affordable Housing Program…

Affordable Community Living is a qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing low and moderate income families with quality, affordable housing since 1997 and now offers help to veterans and their families through it’s Veterans Assistance Program.

Learn more about our mission and how we aim to help America’s heroes.

Contact Us - We are ready to help

Categories News | Tags: | Posted on March 6, 2012

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