U. S. Marine Corps
By Stefan Yablonski
J. Vasquez joined the military “out of a sense of duty; I believe that military service should be mandatory.”
He carries that sense of duty over into the business world.
“I was in the United States Marine Corps from 1999-2004, plus two years of Individual Ready Reserve. I was a machine gunner stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina,” he said. “But, for almost the entirety of my enlistment I was doing a workup for deployment or I was deployed,” he said. He said he served in roughly 30 different countries.
He was deployed to Okinawa Japan in 2000 with the 1st Battalion 6th Marines for six months, training in other Southeast Asian countries.
He returned to Camp Lejeune and detached aboard the USS Gunston Hall for UNITAS (sea exercises and in-port training involving several countries in North, South and Central America, conducted by the United States since 1959 in support of U.S. policy) and West African Training in South America and South Africa up the Western Coast in 2001. He returned for another deployment back to Okinawa, Japan, for an additional six months in 2002.
“While in Japan, we toured Southeast Asia. Then, in 2001 I was TAD [temporary additional duty] deployed to South America and Africa, then in 2002 I was deployed back to Japan; it was supposed to be the Mediterranean, but 9/11 screwed up deployments,” he said.
After returning from Japan for the second time while on Christmas and New Years leave, Congress and the commandant of the Marine Corps enacted stop-loss (involuntary extension) on various military occupational specialties, mostly infantry and direct support personnel.
So instead of separating, Vasquez went temporary travel duty to 2nd Battalion 6th Marines to help with their inexperienced personnel, as they were in a rebuilding phase and tasked to go to Iraq for Iraqi Freedom, he explained.
“After I was allowed to get out, I did some traveling and re-acclimated to society. I was stop-lossed, so I didn’t have the typical transitioning period,” he explained.
He started working for Pack-N-Mail in Oswego.
“While working there, I got a degree in accounting to allow me to book keep and prepare taxes,” he said. “I then continued to get my degree in business administration.”
“A year after getting my second degree, my boss decided to move out of state and close down her businesses,” he added.
He didn’t want to buy her out and be part of a franchise with the possibility of someone else telling him how to run his store.
“So I decided to open my own shipping store — The Ship Yard — in December 2016 to fill the void she was leaving in Oswego,” he explained.
The Ship Yard is a third-party shipping company that sells FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL and US Postal, Vasquez said. He also allows people to drop off their prepaid packages for those curriers, he added.
He doesn’t have any staff.
Good service is key in all small, hometown businesses, he said, adding, “And service is what we do best.”