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From Navy Jumpmaster to PostNet Franchisee A retired sailor sheds her sea legs and finds solid ground--and financial freedom--as owner of a franchise.

By Jason Daley

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

At Christmastime in 2009, Amanda Crow and her husband, Jeremy, both active-duty members of the Naval Special Warfare Command, headed to the local post office in Ocean View, a suburb of Norfolk, Va., to mail their presents. The line was out the door and wrapped around the block.

"I looked at my husband and said, 'Let's just go to that PostNet in Virginia Beach,'" Crow says. They hopped in their truck and made the 30-minute drive to the national shipping, printing and copying franchise. "We mailed our stuff quickly, and I put my hands on my hips and I looked at the owner, Dennis, and said, 'How do you open one of these?'"

Crow was only half-serious at the time, but she was beginning to think about a post-military career, and opening a business was at the top of her list. She took a PostNet franchising brochure and put it in a drawer.

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