30 Heroes for 30 Years

To celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the VetFran program, we are honoring the service and entrepreneurial spirit of veterans who own and run franchises in thousands of communities across America.

In recognition of the impact that VetFran has made on their lives and career aspirations over the past 30 years, IFA is launching our 30 Heroes for 30 Years campaign. 

Below are their stories.

From Honor to Owner


Marine Corps Veteran, Cheston Syma, owns 41 Sport Clips franchises across two states. In order to achieve his dreams as a franchise owner after leaving the military, Cheston worked as a security contractor for the Department of State at the U.S. Embassies in Baghdad, Iraq and Kabul, Afghanistan, where he spent the four years during a time of war in order to pay his business loan and personal bills. All the while, running the two Sport Clips from Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Learn More

From combat-seasoned and highly decorated fighter pilot to successful local businessman, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Steven D. Carey continues to serve as a Veteran franchise owner. As the proud owner of a residential and commercial painting business called CertaPro Painters of Mobile and Baldwin Counties in Alabama, he has received numerous regional and national awards wearing a different uniform as a Veteran franchise owner and generated unprecedented growth more than doubling production in 3 years.

Learn More


What does an Army Veteran do after 33 years of service?  He finds a way to continue serving his community and his fellow Americans through franchising. Retiring at the rank of Colonel after 3+ decades of honorable service, U.L. did exactly that. The Armstrong family found the perfect fit in Bourne, TX when U.L. opened a PuroClean franchise.

Learn more




Proud Seabee and Navy Veteran, as well as an accomplished architect with a knack for graphic design, Stan Gray is now a successful local franchise owner operating two FASTSIGNS locations in Long Beach and Torrance, CA. With a 50% franchisee fee discount and the ongoing support provided, he was able to parlay his experience with the Navy and his wealth of experience in the private sector producing visually creative architectural solutions for clients in cities like NYC, DC, and LA and became a successful Vetrepreneur.

Learn more


 After deploying to Fallujah, Iraq in 2004 as part of Operation Phantom Fury, Jason served honorably during a career that spanned 16 years in both the Marine Corps and the Army where he achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer.  

Today, he owns multiple franchises across different brands.

Learn more



On March 29, we recognize National Vietnam War Veterans Day. A Vietnam War veteran himself, Ted Dewitt, of Signarama knows what it means to serve. And, he's put a special focus on mentoring veteran entrepreneurs and giving back to his community.

Learn more

Check Back Each Week for New Hero Stories

Operation Vetrepreneur Winner and Navy Vet Christo Robinson