Justin is a former United States Army Infantry Officer who served as a Rifle Platoon Leader during the invasion of Iraq. He earned two Bronze Stars, with “Combat Valor” distinction for his leadership during twenty-one straight days of intense enemy ground combat. After his military career, Justin worked in medical device sales until mental wounds and a progressive brain injury from his war experience forced him to change course.
As a component of his rehabilitation, Justin began woodworking as a hobby. Inspired by his military career and twelve years of playing football, including four at Denison where he was an all-conference defensive end, Justin founded Flags and Footballs.
His business has grown significantly since it launched in 2019, selling his hand-crafted wooden artwork nationwide. Justin’s donated pieces have raised thousands for veteran and suicide-awareness non-profits. In his free time, Justin mentors high school seniors involved in work study programs, coaches’ youth basketball and maintains a rigorous physical and mental-health program to help slow the progression of his TBI. His service dog, Mac, was adopted from the shelter where Justin and his wife, Megan, helped found the non-profit Pets Healing Vets over a decade ago. Inspired by both of their adoration of dogs and shared belief that dogs have the power to heal trauma, Pets Healing Vets matches Indiana veterans with emotional support pets and covers the cost of all food and medical care needs for the life of the animal. The program has helped hundreds of veterans find healing through the grace of a dog’s unconditional love.