Veterans Day is a day of remembrance in the United States—a day to honor those who have served in the military and thank them for their service and a day to show gratitude for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of liberty. This year, ActionCOACH was thrilled to be named one of the Top Franchises for Veterans in a poll conducted by independent franchisee satisfaction research firm, Franchise Business Review. We are proud of our vets, and in honor of the holiday, we wanted to highlight a few from around the nation as a small way of thanking them and all of our veterans for their service.
Rick Plasket, West Virginia
West Point graduate and Army veteran Rick Plasket dedicated more than 10 years of his life to the service of his country—during which time he jumped out of a perfectly good plane over 50 times and executed Operation Urgent Fury to capture Noriega—and knows something about sacrifice and dedication. Today, he’s using the lessons he learned during his military career to help business owners succeed and make a difference in their own communities.
“After leaving the Army, I invested 15 years in corporate America, and I felt a bit adrift,” he said. “When I discovered ActionCOACH in 2007, I knew I’d discovered something that I could not just be a part of but that could actually help people.”
Kelly Peitz, Georgia
Kelly Peitz served as an Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot for more than 24 years, and because of those experiences, he knows what real pressure is. But he also knows what it takes to succeed—discipline and leadership—qualities he has in spades.
Today, Peitz is giving back to the community as a business coach helping small and mid-sized businesses succeed by parlaying the discipline and leadership skills he embraced in the military into solutions.
“My experience in the military wasn’t something that’s easy to explain to people who weren’t there,” he said. “But the lessons I learned during that time are with me every single day, and they help me be the best that I can for my clients and teach them how to be the best they can be. I’m proud to have served my country. I’m also proud that the skills I’ve brought from that life have transitioned into helping people in my civilian life.”
Damon Wallace, Texas
Veteran Damon Wallace knows the value of planning for tomorrow but living for today. The Army veteran has been deployed multiple times, but today, Wallace is giving back to the community as a coach.
“The leadership and discipline I learned in the military is still with me today, and I’m sharing those skills and traits with business owners to help them be the best they can be today, no excuses, no waiting,” he said. “The work I do is making a difference in the community. I’m helping the little guy.”
Wallace said he’s passionate about his work because he knows that owning a small business can be tough and that when he helps someone make their business successful, he’s really helping families and the community at large.
“I can help people be successful through leadership, and I can also help them plan for the future but focus on what we can do right now to change the course of their business,” he said. “All we have is now. I know people who lived through combat who have come home and been killed in a car accident. You just never know when your time is up. I’m dedicated to living my life to the fullest. To being the best that I can be. I want to be able to pass that on to my clients and to my community.”
Walter Carey, Nevada
Air Force veteran Walter Carey has seen it all. At just 23 years old, he went to war, leading a group of young soldiers who had just watched the horrors of 9/11 change the world forever.
Today, Carey is using all he learned during that era of his life by giving back to the community as a coach and Vice Chairman of the nonprofit, Coaching for A Cause.
“We are helping these executive teams learn how to make the most of what they have, and also skills and strategies for taking their organization to the next level so that they can help more people and be more efficient,” he said.
Carey is currently working with Foster Kinship, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children in the foster care system.
“The work that we are doing helps not just the executives on a high level,” he said. “It helps the kids who are benefiting from the work they are doing and being able to do that more successfully. I’m really passionate about the change we are compelling here, one nonprofit at a time.”