How It All Began by Eric Hadley, CEO
“When I was growing up I thought that I was going to be a cartoon artist. Then in the later years of high school I was going to be an architect, followed by an Army Officer, which lead to a Law Enforcement Officer, and, lastly a Naval Officer. When it was all said and done with, I became a Licensed, United States Coast Guard Merchant Marine Engineer who, right out of college went to work for the United States Navy’s Military Sealift Command.
I was a small town country boy from Paris Texas who, upon graduation, went to bootcamp in Ft. Knox Kentucky to compete for an Army Scholarship as part of the United States Army Early Commissioning Program. After bootcamp I reported to my sponsoring school, New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell NM, a two year junior college. While I earned a scholarship, ultimately I decided to turn it down for personal reasons… basically they weren’t going to guarantee that I could drive tanks… What can I say? I have always been enamored by big pieces of equipment… In the end though, I still went to school and graduated from NMMI with a Liberal Arts Degree before transferring up to Maine Maritime Academy in Castine ME. During my time in Castine, I again competed for a scholarship. This time it was for the Navy to which, again, I had earned one. Upon graduation I was commissioned as an Ensign in the Untied States Navy’s Individual Ready Reserve program. Growing up in a small town in north east Texas I rarely made it out of the state, let along the country. Whats funny is that by the time I had graduated college I had already been to 13 different countries. Needless to say I was bitten by the travel bug.
Right after graduation I went to work for Military Sealift Command as an engineering officer where I spent the next 13 years traveling the globe doing logistical support for US forces at sea. This job lead me to see and do so many amazing things. Just to list a few, I was able to:
- Be a First Responder onboard the USNS Comfort during the 9/11 attacks.
- Be an active part of Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom onboard the USNS Niagara Falls
- Be a participant in mission work for an elderly community in Thailand onboard the USNS Walther S. Diel
- Aiding stranded sailors in the Indian Ocean
I have been blessed to serve so many people through out my career. A career that has taken me to 59 different countries.
Something that always seemed to happen when we pulled into port was that we sought out wi-fi as a way to reconnect with loved ones back home. Typically the best wi-fi was always found at the local coffee shops. Point here is that I have spent my fair share of time in coffee shops over the years.
My story stems from necessity… After Military Sealift Command I did engineering project management for the United States Coast Guard at the CGY in Baltimore Maryland. Because of sequestration there was a strong hint that I was going to loose my contract so I proactively sought out new employment. Ultimately I took a job with Transocean working offshore in the oil industry as an engineer. A year after being hired the oil industry took a hit and I spent the next 2.5 years watching large numbers of my co-workers getting laid off every quarter as a result of the down turn in the industry. Two and a half years later I was told that “there was no more fat to cut” which lead to me being let go and for the first time in my career I found myself asking the question, “now what?”
That is when I started down the road of creating the GY6 Foundation, a nonprofit geared towards eliminating veteran homelessness and the veteran suicide rate. Shortly after starting down that path I realized that I did not have the financial means to carry myself for 2-3 years while the nonprofit got off the ground. SO, I tabled the project and began my search for employment. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot of ocean front property here in Springfield MO so after several months I decided to drop oars and row my own boat… Thats when Got Your Six Coffee Company was born. I saw that, through a cup of coffee, I could make a difference in this country and I intend to do just that. GY6CC will be my driving force that empowers me to fund and operate GY6 Foundation (status pending).”