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Wherever You Search

You’re visiting your Great Aunt Liza when a pipe in her bathroom bursts.  It’s a good thing you’re there because, although you don’t have any plumbing skills, you do know how to shut the water off and use Google to find area plumbers.  When you tell Aunt Liza you’ve got a list of seven 5-star plumbers, she’s impressed, but how do choose?  You rattle off the list of names, until Aunt Liza says, “Call the one named Jones.  I once dated a Jones.” 

Jones Plumbing arrives within minutes, and while Jones fixes the pipe, you decide to take Aunt Liza out to lunch.  “Take her to Ron’s Ribs,” Jones offers.  “Ron and I served together in Afghanistan. Food’s great!”

 Jones is a vet?  You had no idea.  You thank him for his service before heading over to Ron’s.

Ron is friendly, his food is delicious, and as you watch Aunt Liza lick the last of the barbeque sauce from her fingers, you say a silent thank you to whatever ‘Jones’ it was that she once dated and to Aunt Liza for remembering him.  How else could you have saved Aunt Liza from a flood, eaten the best ribs of your life and supported two great veteran-owned businesses all in a single day? 

If only you’d known about VetsForward.

Like you, most Americans want to champion veteran, military, and spouse-owned businesses, but actual support for them is often haphazard.  Whether we’re looking for a brewery, a new handbag or a PR company, we may not think to enter “veteran-owned” when we search the Internet for a service or product.  But what if there was a tool that did it for you?  What if anytime you searched Google, Yelp or Facebook, a red, white and blue V appeared next to the veteran, military, and spouse-owned businesses in your results?

Dave, Jenny and their children in January 2012, just before Dave departed for a 6-month tour in Afghanistan
Dave, Jenny and their children in January 2012, just before Dave departed for a 6-month tour in Afghanistan

VetsForward, a company founded in 2013 by former Army Captain David Foster and his wife, Jenny Williams, is offering just that, a first-of-its-kind tool that makes finding military, spouse, and veteran-owned businesses as simple as a Google search.   

All you have to do is download the free plug-in, which tags military, spouse, and veteran-owned businesses with the distinctive VetsForward logo anytime they appear in your search results.

“The VetsForward plug-in empowers the military and veteran community to build a movement around the national desire to buy veteran,” founder Dave Foster says.  “Military, spouse, and veteran-owned companies are more than three-million strong in this country.  If we rally around this free tool, by registering as many businesses as possible and encouraging our friends, family, and colleagues to download the plug-in, everyone benefits.”  

Yes, directories of military and veteran-owned businesses exist, but most of us still go to Google or Yelp to find what we need.  VetsForward embraces this and brings a veteran directory to you, wherever you’re searching. Currently the VetsForward database contains about 30,000 businesses, and they’re adding thousands more each week. 

One of the most powerful things the military community can do is to make it easy for people everywhere to identify and support military, spouse, and veteran-owned businesses.  Building a movement around the VetsForward plug-in lets us do just that.  The more people who join the movement, the more impact we will have.  Visit www.vets4ward.com today, download the plug-in, and spread the word.  You can also find them on Twitter @vetsforward and Facebook. 

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For more fabulous veteran resources, please see MilitaryOneClick’s Veterans Corner.

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