Life After the Military Doesn’t Have to Be a Blank Canvas

Pinot’s Palette Awards First VetFran Deal

Waylon White, 37, had already completed one U.S. tour in Iraq when he volunteered to return for a 2nd deployment to train Iraqi forces in May 2006. Little did the U.S. Marine Corps Captain know, his next visit would not be like his first.

There for only 22 days, Waylon and a fellow Marine Captain were embedded with 60 Iraqi soldiers when insurgents began attacking their small compound. The other Marine was killed in that attack, and Waylon was knocked unconscious from an exploding mortar round. He would later wake up in Germany at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center with a list of injuries including a fractured skull, shrapnel is his back and arms, and skin missing from areas on his arms and face.

“I couldn’t believe I survived,” Waylon, a recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, said. “I don’t recall every moment of that day, but I knew shortly after I woke up in Germany that, as hard as it was going to be, I had to recoup and figure out what I was going to do next.”

But he wouldn’t go at it alone. Victoria White, 33, would be instrumental in shaping what would come next for Waylon. The couple, now with three children, first met right before Waylon returned to Iraq and later reconnected after he returned to the U.S. in October 2006. Eventually Waylon and Victoria made their way to Kansas, got married and discovered they wanted to own their own business.

“Victoria went with her friends to a Pinot’s Palette location and instantly fell in love with it,” Waylon recalled. “Then we both went together to a class, and quickly looked into owning our own paint-and-sip studio.”

Waylon and Victoria would also be the fast growing paint-and-sip franchisor’s first VetFran franchisee. The program, available to members of the International Franchise Association, helps U.S. military veterans locate franchise opportunities and provides a path toward business ownership with training, mentoring opportunities and financial assistance.

As a member of VetFran, Pinot’s Palette offers veterans a 10 percent discount on its current franchise fee, reducing it to $22,500.

“The team in Houston was incredibly attentive and helpful,” Waylon said. “From the initial contact to assisting us with opening our first studio, we could not be more happy with our decision.”

The couple plans to open their new studio this December in Lawrence, Kansas.

“VetFran is a great program and we’re thrilled to be Pinot’s Palette’s first veteran-owned franchise to receive the benefits of this partnership,” Waylon said. “It’s hard to believe that after all we’ve gone through to get here, that we will soon be opening the doors to our very own studio.”

For more information about Pinot’s Palette franchise opportunities or to locate the nearest studio, visit

To learn more about Pinot’s Palette VetFran opportunities go to and submit the online form to access the brochure.

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