Christmas shopping is now over. But an interesting question is this: did you shop at any businesses owned by veterans? Yes, indeed, veterans do own businesses and it may be surprising that you most likely indeed shopped or used services provided by one or more companies this past Christmas.
Why? The National Veteran-Owned Business Association estimates there are 3 million veteran-owned businesses in the country. For example, here are ten large companies that were founded by veterans:
• Federal Express (FedEx) was founded by Fred Smith, a Marine Corps veteran who served for four years. FedEx acquired Kinko’s in 2004, which is now called FedEx Office.
• Walmart. Yes, the world’s largest company has 11,695 stores in 28 countries. It was founded by Sam and Bud Walton in 1962. Both brothers are veterans: Sam served in the Army and Bud in the Navy.
• Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company began in 1957 and was started by Jack Taylor, a decorated WW II Navy pilot.
• Nike is the world’s largest supplier of athletic shoe and apparel. It was founded in 1964 by co-founder Phil Knight, who served in the Army and Army Reserve.
• RE/MAX, short for Real Estate Maximums, was co-founded by the Linigers, Dave and his wife. Dave served in the Air Force during the Vietnam era.
• Amway North America was co-founded by Richard Devos. Devos was in the Army Air Corps during WW II.
• GoDaddy is an international Internet Domain Registar.and web hosting company. The company was founded by Bob Parson, a Vietnam Veteran who served in the Marine Corps.
• Universal Health Services is one of the largest hospital management companies in the United States. It was founded by Alan B. Miller who graduated from college as an officer after serving four years in the Army ROTC.
• Sperry Shoes was founded by inventor, businessman, and photographer, Paul Sperry. Sperry was a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve.
• Sports Clips Haircuts was founded by Gordon Logan and his wife. Logan was an Aircraft Commander in the Air Force. Sports Clips is most widely known to us veterans because of their free haircuts on Veterans Day. In addition, they donate $1 from every haircut service on Veterans Day. The money is donated to scholarships for veterans.
So there you have it. Did you actually shop for Christmas presents at any of these veteran-owned companies? I did.
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