A Tradition of Military Service – Jay Van Andel & Rich DeVos

Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos both served in the military, and they were determined to make their business a viable opportunity for military veterans.

In 1942, following the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor, Jay Van Andel enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, a combat arm of the U.S. Army Air Force.

Two years later, Rich DeVos followed suit.

In 1946, after the end of World War II, both men returned to civilian life, enriched and emboldened by their military experiences. Certain that air travel represented a growth opportunity, they established a flying school and charter flight service … the first of several business ventures led by the enterprising young men.

Thirteen years later, in 1959, they launched Amway (American Way). While neither Van Andel nor DeVos ever donned a uniform again, they were always determined to make their business a viable opportunity for military veterans.

Jay Van Andel, Army Air Corps 1942–46

Rich DeVos, Army Air Corps 1944–46

1 Comment

  • Lou Braasch

    As a Viet Nam Vet (USN 1964-1967) I am very appreciative of the recognition and honor bestowed on Veterans at virtually every business function that I attend. Count me as one proud IBO and one proud Vet! Thanks Rich and Jay for the legacy you established.

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