Afghanistan veteran survives war...only to be brought down by Subway Sandwiches


In 2003, The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act was instituted to ensure that American soldiers who were sent to combat positions overseas wouldn't be financially penalized upon their return. For Leon Batie, however, it looks like a year spent in a mud hut in Afghanistan may have cost him his businesses and credit rating.

The South Dallas/Fair Park Trust Fund, which helped Batie start his business, is the kind of community-based improvement group that conservatives and liberals can both get behind. From the liberal side, the program is designed to help revitalize a low-income minority community. Conservatives, on the other hand, can take heart in the fact that its support takes the form of low-interest loans that are offered to new business owners.

In many ways, Leon Batie is the perfect bipartisan poster boy for the program. An African American man who lived in the community, Batie took out a $50,000 loan to open a Subway sandwich shop in the heart of South Dallas. Fueled by that success, he opened two more franchises, receiving another $25,000 in loan money along the way. His stores did quite well, and the fund lauded his success in promotional materials and newspaper articles.