Dream Vacations—the number one travel agency franchise for veterans—recently awarded nine military veterans and community heroes with free travel franchises as part of its annual business plan contest “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General.”
Currently more than 35 percent of franchise owners within Dream Vacations are military veterans and in the past nine years, the travel agency franchise has awarded 51 free franchises since 2012 valued at more than $637,000 to deserving military veterans.
“While this year was filled with so much uncertainty and budget cuts, eliminating our ninth annual Operation Vetrepreneur program was non-negotiable,” said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager of Dream Vacations. “In fact, this year we actually expanded the program beyond military veterans to include community heroes. This year’s winners have devoted their lives to helping others – whether serving in the armed forces, working on the COVID-19 front lines as a first responder or healthcare professional, or expanding the minds of future generations as an educator.”
This year’s winners are Army Veteran Alecia Kimball of North Augusta, S.C.; Air Force Veteran Darrell Klassy of Pass Christian, Miss.; Army Veteran Jackie Cox of Fowler, Ind.; Marine Corps Veteran Gamie Ollivierre of West Melbourne, Fla.; Air Force Veteran Robert Earl of McKinney, Texas; and Army Veteran Veronica Loewy of Chicago. The community heroes awarded with a free franchise include Gloretha Mackey, a nurse in Winter Haven, Fla.; Kyle Kiper, a school counselor and retired first responder in Booneville, Ark.; and Bakhtawar Ghaffer, an educator in New Rochelle, N.Y.