By Karen Abbott-Trimuel
LANSING, Ill. (June 11, 2022) – Richard Bolton is a Lansing resident and the owner of The Bunker, an Army and Navy Surplus Store located at 3321 Ridge Road in Lansing.
Bolton is an Army Iraq War veteran who obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant and earned a Soldier of the Year Award. He’s also a retired Chicago Police Officer who received an Officer of the Year Award, and a former emergency room nurse.
Bolton’s shop, The Bunker, sells military, law enforcement, and medical supplies, all items that Bolton is familiar with through his past career experiences.
Opening The Bunker
Bolton considers himself an entrepreneur and is passionate about his business and what it offers to its customers. Eight years ago, he decided to follow his passion, retire from the Chicago Police Department, and open his first Army and Navy Surplus store, but the first order of business was to come up with a name.
“I came up with the name by posing several suggestions to five of my close-knit friends. I was set on The Bunker as it is a military term, and a majority agreed,” said Bolton.
Bolton opened his first location in Chicago, but after visiting an antique store on Ridge Road, he saw the opportunity to open his second location in Lansing and has successfully been in business there for the past six years.
“I am the only African-American store owner of this nature in the United States of America,” Bolton said.
Serving those who serve
Those who walk into the store get a taste of what it is like to be in the military, as World War II and Vietnam gear and clothing line the front entry.
The Bunker operated during COVID as an essential business and served first responders and other critical companies with clothing, equipment, and supplies. They also sourced the Village of Lansing with PPE supplies during that time.
“I sell everything I am familiar with, and this is like home to me,” Bolton said.
The Bunker is open to the public, and its biggest customers are law enforcement officers, military personnel, and medical businesses. Along with law enforcement, military, and medical supplies, the store also sells T-shirts, hats, pants, backpacks, and survival gear.
“We also sell items for children, Halloween, and clothing for women,” Bolton said.
Along with the surplus store, The Bunker offers training for CPR/AED certification, concealed carry certification, mass shooting avoidance, self-defense, and treating traumatic injuries.
Bolton is certified to train law enforcement officers, and The Bunker has additional certified instructors with law enforcement and military backgrounds that teach concealed carry classes, which cost $100. Training for certification is a two-day process and is scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays.
Along with Bolton’s vast knowledge of the military, law enforcement, and medical fields, he is also an eight-time author of fiction and non-fiction books, which can be found on Amazon and other platforms.
The Bunker is located at 3321 Ridge Road in Lansing. Hours of operation are Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.