CLINTON, Miss. (WJTV) — In 2009, a devastating car crash brought Sancho Johnson’s career in the Coast Guard to an end.
Eight years later, he’s a budding business mogul.
Sancho Johnson spent 17 years in the Coast Guard. He had no intention of leaving, until a catastrophic accident while on vacation cost him the use of his legs and his right hand.
“They didn’t really mean I was no good,” he said. “They just really meant that I was, you know, not as valuable to them in the military, but I can use the quality and training and things of that nature that they had given me to be able to apply to the civilian world, and it has worked out some.”
These days Sancho owns Playtime Entertainment in Clinton. It’s a restaurant and arcade with 27 employees on the payroll. When he’s not working at Playtime, he’s thinking about Playtime.
“But once you get in the mindset that you don’t let it define you, you go back to the morals, the qualities, the core values of your branch of service, you realize that you could be a valuable asset in society,” he said.
Stories of veterans falling through the cracks are all too common.
Sancho shares this advice for men and women coming out of the service.
“You have to have a great support system to readjust to what I call a new life, but really, it’s just a different way of life, and because of great family and friends and support system, I was able to, and still am able to overcome a lot of obstacles that I am faced with on a day to day basis.”
Before his accident, Sancho was right handed, but in addition to the other obstacles he’s overcome, he has learned to write with his left hand.
Over the next 10 years, Sancho is hoping to open additional Playtime franchises across the South. Veterans are, of course, encouraged to apply.