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From Army Green to Pizza, Pizza
The Manassas News and Messenger ^ | November 29, 2010 | Julia LeDoux

Posted on 11/29/2010 12:16:03 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

DUMFRIES, Va. - Tony Vazquez says the years he spent serving as a military police officer at Fort Belvoir prepared him to own his own pizza business.

Vazquez and his wife, Shelley, are expected to open their Little Caesars franchise at 16708 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 121 in Dumfries on Thursday.

“It was the discipline and teamwork I learned in the Army that made a big difference in my life,” he said. “One of the most important things I learned is that when you make a commitment, you stick to it. You must believe in what you are doing.”

Tony spent three years as a military police officer from 1977 to 1980 at Fort Belvoir. After that, he worked as a police officer in Fairfax County from 1980 to 1987. From 1996 to 2010 he worked as a distributor for the Washington Post, helping to oversee the delivery of the Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger, the predecessors of the News & Messenger, for 14 years.

In September of 2009, Tony attended an entrepreneur job fair near his Woodbridge home and spoke to a Little Caesars representative and two franchise owners.

“I was familiar with Little Caesars and, after learning more about their business model, I thought it would be ideal,” he said. “I love the Little Caesars product line and business model. The location of our restaurant in Dumfries is perfect, and the company provides tremendous support. For me, this is a dream come true.”

While going through the franchise application process, Tony learned about the Little Caesars Veterans Program, which offers substantial discounts and benefits to veterans of America’s armed forces.

“The Little Caesars Veterans Program provides business opportunities to veterans as they transition to civilian life or seek a career change,” said Kathryn Oldham, director of corporate communications for Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. “Little Caesars works with our suppliers to provide qualified, honorably discharged veterans significant credits and benefits that can help them start their business.”

Candidates for the program must meet eligibility requirements of the Center for Veterans Enterprise, which is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and meet Little Caesars franchisee criteria.

“Little Caesars introduced the Little Caesars Veterans Program,” said Oldham. “Today, 50 veterans are using the benefits offered by the program.”

Tony and Shelley Vazquez also hope to partner with nearby schools and civic organizations as a means of community outreach.

KEYWORDS: business; economy; entrepreneurs; franchises; military; recession; smallbusiness; veterans
Why don't more companies do this?
1 posted on 11/29/2010 12:16:06 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My local Little Caesars (Cedar Rapids/Marion Iowa) is also veteran owned. There is a big banner on the wall just inside the door indicating such. Nice. Only about 10 minutes away from the house where our newest Medal of Honor winner grew up. (not a lot going on in CR, will have to play the Medal of Honor card whenever I get the chance).

2 posted on 11/29/2010 12:39:46 PM PST by LearnsFromMistakes (Yes, I am happy to see you. But that IS a gun in my pocket.)
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To: LearnsFromMistakes

I think I read previously that a service-connected disabled veteran gets an even better deal from them than someone who is a “regular” veteran.

3 posted on 11/29/2010 12:42:54 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Re: Gov. Sarah Palin: Even the lion has to defend himself against flies. ~German Proverb)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This isn’t too far from where I am. I may have to pay them a visit.

4 posted on 11/29/2010 1:04:28 PM PST by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
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