Two Marines Moving: Helping Those Who Served Help Homeowners
By D.E. Rosen and Kathy Belleville | June 30, 2016
“If you give a Marine a mission,” says Nick Baucom, co-founder of Two Marines Moving, “they are going to get it done.”
Baucom should know: The 32-year-old former Marine sergeant served as an infantryman during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His entrepreneurial drive and innate understanding of a Marine’s willpower and work ethic inspired him to launch his Washington DC-based company, which employs more than 85 veterans and has handled 10,000 moves – and counting.
One of the goals of Two Marines Moving is to be an exceptional company with a sterling reputation in an industry where movers are not always seen in the best light.
“People want a reputable moving company,” says Baucom. “That’s what I expect from my staff day in and day out.”
One customer told Baucom that he had to beg his movers to slow down and take a lunch break. They refused, continuing to work until they completed the job.
“Marines are used to hard work,” says Baucom.
“In the Marines I would tell my men ‘all right, gentlemen: we’re going to take that machine gun, we’re going to do a maneuver and fire at our enemies,’” says Baucom.
“When you’re just asking them to move a piano, it’s not that hard.”
An Entrepreneur’s – and Marine’s – Drive
Two Marines Moving wasn’t Baucom’s first foray into entrepreneurship. While in the military, he bought a home using money he earned as a Marine and started a home improvement business. (“Fighting in Iraq is like starting a full savings account – you’ve got nowhere to go to spend your money.”)
By 2007 his business went bankrupt.
“It was gut-wrenching. I made a promise to myself that I would never go through that again,” says Baucom.
In 2008, while still trying to figure out his next step in life, Baucom received calls from friends and family who asked for a hand in helping them move into their homes.
That’s when his business instincts kicked in. Why do all this hard work in exchange for free beer and pizza when he could make good money running a moving company?
He had heard so many horror stories from friends who hired moving companies that hit them with unseen fees, misquoted their rates, and even held their possessions hostage until their demands were met.
“It was an industry that had a lot of operators who lacked integrity,” he says. “I thought to myself, I can make a business out of this.”
He launched Two Marines Moving on Nov. 10, 2008 – the anniversary of the Marine Corps’ founding in 1775. By hiring veterans, his business helps service members ease back into civilian life while also providing homeowners and renters a reputable moving company.
Interestingly, the unemployment rate for veterans has been steadily declining in recent years, making it a bit more challenging for Baucom to hire more people. “It’s an odd problem to have,” says Baucom. “I’m booked three to four weeks in advance, and I need more staff.”
Many of his former employees have gone on to create their own businesses, and some he even uses as vendors. “They are a family,” he says, which is why he has an open door policy for his former employees.
“If you did a good job and want to come back, there is always a place for you at Two Marines Moving,” he says.
Relief for Members of the Military
Not all military service members have achieved the financial stability of Baucom and his employees. Change of station (relocation) orders, reservists being called into active duty, and injuries can create financial distress for these hard-working service members.
Fannie Mae has programs to assist service members facing financial hardships. Service members may be eligible for mortgage relief options such as reduced mortgage interest rates, forbearance on monthly payments, protection against foreclosure, and extension of redemption periods.
Options are available to service members who are on active duty and in following months. They are also available to service members who’ve received Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, and to those who have suffered injuries while on active duty. (Information can be found on KnowYourOptions.com/military-options.)
As we celebrate this Independence Day, let’s remember that our freedom is earned every day through the sacrifices of our military service members.