Once Was Inc was founded in 2018 by Michael (DJ N. V. Navy Vet) Edmond, a United States Navy Disabled Veteran, and his wife Racquel in response to the couple’s desire to give back to the nations service members, focusing on those that do not have direct access to military facilities, family, or resource centers.
Veterans in need and undervalued was a feeling all too familiar to Michael. After serving 14 ½ years in the United States Navy, he returned home a civilian and lost. Not having the proper guidance or resources, trying to transition to an unfamiliar lifestyle became a challenge for Petty Officer Edmond, leaving him homeless and unemployed.
Feeling hopeless and confused Petty Officer Edmond moved with family members to Houston, Texas. There is where he discovered the Veterans Affair (VA) and all of the benefits that he was entitled to. He was able to enroll in college utilizing his GI Bill, receive health care benefits, they helped him find employment and was given housing assistance.
Houston is also where he met his wife Racquel, a schoolteacher in the greater Houston area. With her love and support, the couple’s manifestations came to life.