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Patriot Pizza Struggling to Help Vets - KOAM TV 7

Patriot Pizza Struggling to Help Vets

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

There are roughly 573,000 unemployed veterans in the US, and roughly 131,000 homeless vets on any given night.

Travis Lewis was a private first class in the US Army. He understands the trouble adjusting from military to civilian  life. 

"The military, in general, have started transition programs," Lewis said. "But practicing something and actually doing it are two different things."

Lewis himself is undergoing his own trouble adjusting... to life as a restaurant owner. Lewis opened Patriot Pizza and Billy Q's BBQ this Summer as a means to help former military. 

"It's been slow," Lewis said. "Business has been slow to start."

Part of the proceeds of Patriot Pizza goes to organizations helping local vets. And nearly the entire staff is made up of veterans, like Michael Peletteir, a former marine. 

"They teach you certain skills that are hard to bring out into the civilian life if you ask me," Peletteir said.

Peletteir was referred to the job by Compass Quest. One of the organizations Patriot Pizza supports. 

"The job is okay," Peletteir said. "I like it when we're busy and we're not that busy right now."

Despite the hardship, Patriot Pizza continues to give to local organizations as Billy Q's BBQ tries to pay the bills. With the hope that Patriot Pizza can franchise out and impact more communities.

"If we can get a lot of communities doing a little bit then we've made a giant impact," Lewis said.

"How much of a problem do you want it to be?" Peletteir asked. "I don't want to see a vet on the street. I don't want to see anyone on the street. But it can get that way."

All told, Patriot Pizza helps support 5 veteran organizations.
 

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