Army Veteran continues to serve his community with nationally acclaimed BBQ



Author’s note: During my last trip to Nashville, I decided to scout out local Veteran owned businesses. A Google search brought up articles referring to a spot an hour out of Music City called Fox’s BBQ. I visited the establishment expecting good food and a nice story. I found both, along with a tremendously humble, welcoming Army Veteran that is running it all.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, getting on and off a United States military base was a nightmare. Security checks were extensive creating long lines of cars outside the

Flag hung at Fox's BBQ

Flag hung at Fox’s BBQ

gates, and resulting in multiple hours of waits. Cars would run out of gas just waiting to access the base. Many soldiers wouldn’t leave base knowing the situation at the gate. Jessie Fox, who served in the Army, saw this happening at his local base, Fort Campbell. He wanted to help the soldiers out, so he started feeding them.

After a while, he set up shop right on Fort Campbell as an approved vendor. His outfit became so popular and in such high demand, that he had to stop operations there to open a restaurant off base. Now, Fox owns and operates Fox’s BBQ in Clarksville, Tennessee. Soldiers continue to frequent his restaurant, helping make it one of the most popular Veteran-owned BBQ joints in the country.

Fox’s experience with BBQ goes back to his childhood when he would shop for ingredients his grandma required for her cooking. As he became an adult, he continued the family tradition and made it a business.

Bucket List chalk board at Fox's BBQ

Bucket List chalk board at Fox’s BBQ

The venue is more than a local BBQ joint. It is a part of the community. The decorations show a connection to military with two American flags full of signatures from service members and Veterans. He also has a “bucket list” chalk board, where visitors can write down their life’s aspirations. On the board, one square says “join the Army,” while another says “get out of the Army.”

Fox uses his VA education benefits to pursue a degree in business management. He hopes he can apply what he learns and combine it with his experience to help his business grow.

If you make your way to Fox’s BBQ in Clarksville, try the ribs. Most of all, talk with Jessie, and let his passion for serving Veterans inspire you.

Author

Timothy Lawson

Timothy Lawson has been a member of VA's Digital Media Engagement team since April 2016. He graduated from American University's School of Communications in 2016 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Tim is a Marine Corps Veteran having served as a Marine Security Guard posted at embassies in Algeria, Russia, and Peru.

Comments

  1. Marie W. Boyd    

    Now is the time for country to give back to the Veterans that have gave up so much for their country’s freedom. We must look st the older vets that gave up more. They are the ones that keep the younger generation from doing with out and set up programs to help. There should never be without a home and care. It has always been a fight to receive notice for what they have done
    President Trump has started the fight for the Veterans and we thank him for that.

  2. Allen Lee Hahn    

    It is a true blessing to have a VA Director that has taken charge and is making things happen in a positive way. President Trump and his administration truely remembering our vets.

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