CHICAGO — Marine veteran Greg Jumes' "new war" is creating an app that allows other vets to transition more easily into civilian life.
Jumes, of Humboldt Park, is founder of the Victor App that he hopes to debut in March. It helps veterans find discounts at local businesses, mental health services, jobs and other opportunities across the country.
Jumes, 28, who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait, said the app will feature services he couldn't find when he left military duty in 2010.
"This is a new war, a new target, a new operation," Jumes said. "When you get out of the military, nobody helps you get out of your comfort zone. This app will allow you to find a community, help with mental/physical health and find a secure job all under one central platform."
Jumes has been fine-tuning the app out of WeWork Downtown. It will be free for active military, veterans and relatives within one degree — parents and siblings — of active military or veterans. Businesses will be charged to showcase their discounts for veterans or to feature job boards.
Census figures show there are about 82,000 military veterans living in Chicago and 20 million in the United States. Finding other veterans can be difficult, Jumes said.
He chose to live in Chicago because he knew friends and other veterans who live here. He decided on buying a house in Humboldt Park because in some ways it reminded him of the climate overseas.
"It's real. It's not a bunch of bros and hipster kids walking around. There's real people there," he said. "And there's a weird part of me that likes to hear a gunshot every now and then and hear the police and ambulance sirens."
Jumes joined the Marines right out of high school, so he's beyond excited to start his own business.
"This is my new sense of purpose," he said.
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