Local veteran starts transportation business
ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. – Veteran Marine Ernesto Rivas served in the Marines from 1997 to 2011. He said he initially joined the marines to help pay for college. Now, Rivas owns his transportation
“After serving there, 9/11 happened. I was getting ready to leave the Marines and I decided to re-enlist. So, I dedicated the rest of my time to serving my country,” Rivas said.
Rivas spent 14 years serving his country. He enlisted in the U.S Marine Corps when he was 17 years old. During his time, he did two deployments for Operation Iraqi Freedom, two deployments of Operation Enduring Freedom, and one deployment for Noble Eagle.
He was a platoon sergeant running combat patrols and vehicles in Iraq and overlooking his team. His active service ended when he was 32-year-old.
Rivas tells me his fondest memories in the military were serving with his fellow marines, through all the good times and the hard times.
“In retrospect, it’s a wonderful experience I dedicate each day of my life to their memory and I work hard because I know their presence is still felt when I work and I want to give back as much as I can in their memory,” Rivas said.
After serving in the marines, Rivas went on to do what he initially sought out to do, which was to get an education. And now he owns Reveille Transpo.
Rivas started the transportation service almost five years ago. At the time, he said he was working at the Department of Veteran Affairs, helping former service members get jobs.
“They would tell me, I can’t work, and I would ask them why can’t you work? and they’d say well I don’t have a ride to work. So, the idea came to mind, and I said well we should probably get you transportation to them," Rivas said.
After seeing the need, Rivas bought a couple of buses and contacted a few companies, and then, before he knew it he was shuttling people to and from work. When it was first started, the transportation service only had two buses.Now Rivas said they have eight buses and they all range in size. They have eight-passenger buses to 45 passenger vans and the company is still growing. Reveille Transpo also does staffing and recruiting to help the people get back to work. Rivas said although the service initially started with veterans it's opened up to even more people.
When asked about how his time in the military prepared him to run his own business, Rivas said every day is like going on a mission.
“I ran combat patrols and vehicles. So, it helped me get the routine and timing and make sure we had the right communication before we go on patrol. It really gave me the mindset,” Rivas said.
If you wan to get a hold of Ernesto Rivas for his services. You can email him at email@example.com