JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s a story of two people accomplishing their dreams together.

“I’m at an age where it’s either do it now or forget about it,” said Co-owner of Crowes’ Nest Café, Dave Crowe-Garey.

And the lessons learned along the way.

“Just keep going. Just keep moving forward,” said Co-owner of Crowes’ Nest Cafe, Tom Crowe-Garey.

Dave and Tom Crowe-Garey have been married for 8 years. Now they both own Crowes’ Nest Cafe in Jackson.

Dave’s known he wanted to run a restaurant since he was nine years old flipping pancakes at home. He spent more than 30 years working his way up in the restaurant business. Now in the kitchen of his own restaurant he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be.

“I don’t want any regrets. I want to do what I want to do and if I fail at it, well at least I tried.”

Tom is a 6th generation Army veteran. He knew he would one day serve his country – and he did. He was in military intelligence and a paratrooper.

“I’ve taken off in more airplanes and helicopters than I’ve landed.”

Tom served his country during ‘don’t ask don’t tell.’ It was a time when military members weren’t allowed to be asked about their sexual orientation.

“I felt like I was lying like I couldn’t be my true and just not being my authentic self,” said Tom Crowe-Garey.

But Tom says his time in service helped teach him what it means to give back and what he is capable of.

“The army taught me that I could push myself much further than I thought I could.”

Today he’s doing what he’s also wanted to do, give back to his community and veterans at this café and create a space where everyone is welcome.

“You can get a hot meal and a good conversation and feel welcomed. It’s all about feeling welcomed.”

It’s a mission they share together.

“The more different people are the more colorful the world is, so why not. Why wouldn’t you want a beautiful colorful world,” said Dave Crowe-Garey.

Tom has a message for his younger self and for anyone who feels like they don’t fit in.

“If somebody tries to tell you that you’re not worth your weight in gold just smile at them. Just smile and say yes I am.”

The café is open from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm and all veterans and first responders drink for free.