Local Veteran and Business Owner Chris Maynor Testifies Before Congress on Challenges Facing Transitioning Service members | Illinois

CARTERVILLE, Ill. – In a significant move highlighting the challenges faced by veterans transitioning to civilian life, Chris Maynor, a 15-year Army Combat Veteran and co-owner of Daniel Deans, a men’s clothing store in Murphysboro, testified before Congress on November 7th.

Invited by the Chairman of the Committee on Veterans Affairs, Murphysboro-based Congressman Mike Bost (R-IL 12), Maynor shared his journey and the obstacles he encountered while starting a business as a veteran.

Maynor’s testimony during the oversight hearing titled “Veterans Serving Veterans: The Impact of America’s Businesses on Veteran Employment and Opportunity,” focused on the complexities veterans face when accessing resources to start their own businesses. His personal experiences with PTSD and the struggle to find viable support highlight a broader issue affecting many veterans in our region and across the nation.

“Transitioning from military to civilian life brings a host of challenges,” said Maynor. “For many of us, it’s not just about finding a job but also about rediscovering purpose and navigating a system that’s often too complex.”

Maynor and his wife, Chelsea, who co-owns Daniel Deans, faced significant hurdles in accessing information and support for veteran entrepreneurs. Their journey underscores the need for simplified resources and better guidance for veterans pursuing business ownership.

Congressman Bost, recognizing the significance of veteran contributions, stated, “Over 74 percent of businesses are founded by a veteran. Ensuring that veterans can successfully start and run businesses has been a long-standing priority for our committee and a personal commitment of mine”​​.

The congressman also noted the vital role veterans play in the American workforce and the importance of their integration into our economy. “Without veterans, America would not lead in innovation and economic growth,” Bost remarked, acknowledging the significant contributions of veteran-owned businesses and those who employ veterans​​.

An exchange near the end of the testimony shed light on the ongoing struggles with the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Congressman Bost acknowledged the challenges, saying, “We are trying desperately to add to the TAP program, but it is a battle between this committee and HASC (House Armed Services Committee) because VA and DOD each try to protect their own turf, and TAP is the hardest part for us too”​​. This moment underscored the need for improved coordination and support in assisting veterans transitioning to civilian life.

Following his testimony, Maynor says he received overwhelming support from the committee, including directions to resources and notifications about new support roles being created by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans in the region looking to start businesses can access a range of services and resources. Local organizations, such as the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) and SCORE, offer mentorship, training, and support.

Additionally, the Small Business Administration (SBA) provides resources specifically tailored for veteran business owners.

Additional Resources

For more information on resources for veterans, visit your state’s Veterans Service Office:





SBA’s website for veteran-owned businesses

For veterans and community members interested in veteran services and activities in Southern Illinois, The Southern Illinois Veterans’ Coalition meets quarterly at The Haven on Crab Orchard Lake. The next meeting is November 29th at 3PM.

Do you have a story idea for NEWS 3 about Veterans Services in Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, Southeast Missouri, or Northwest Tennessee? Please send an email to

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