http://www.wtsp.com/mb/news/local/sarasotacounty/sarasota-veteran-starts-veteran-friendly-business-network/305145063

Sarasota, Florida — Many businesses honor veterans but few are recognized for it. A Sarasota vet has launched an online site where you can find businesses that give back to those who’ve served our country, they’re called Green Zone Hero.

Air Force Veteran John Richardson appreciates how he’s treated at Four Pillars Spa in Lakewood Ranch, and as a vet  he gets a discount.

“It says they care about veterans,” says Richardson.

So much so Four Pillars Spa is designated a Green Zone Hero, part of a network of veteran friendly businesses.

Click here for Four Pillars

Cheri Christiansen, owner of Four Pillars says, “We offer wellness services for veterans. It’s natural health care, alternative to medications.”

The idea was born at Four Pillars during a visit by veteran and entrepreneur John Krotec. He saw Four Pillars as a Green Zone for vets.

Krotec says, “Green Zone is a safe place in a combat zone. Green Zone Hero is a safe place for veterans to do business.”

Click here for Green Zone Hero

Krotec came up with a patented system of five cyber medals showing how businesses support veterans from employing them, to offering discounts or giving of their time, money and service.

Krotec says veterans represent a trillion dollar a year buying power. He says, “One of three Americans has something to do with the military somehow. There’s a huge market to reach out to.”

Krotec’s website breaks down services by category with a company’s information and how many medals they’ve earned.

“You’re joining an association of like-minded businesses, owners helping veterans,” says Krotec.

Businesses pay a membership of 350 dollars a year and go through a review and approval process. Krotec says Green Zone Hero is in 6 states with 200 locations and 130 companies.

Richardson says, “We need more businesses like this. Providing opportunity to vets to come home have that support have that love.”

And a place for consumers to seek out businesses who support veterans.

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