SARASOTA – John Krotec is a U.S. Army veteran whose service didn’t end when he left the military.

“The most rewarding was the training, the leadership training,” Krotec said. “even more so was the people that I worked with, people like myself who felt the United States was important enough to enlist and serve their country.”

So, he asked himself, “What can I do to give back to them?”

“A green zone is a relatively safe place in a combat zone,” Krotec said. “A hero is somebody who goes above the call of duty.”

He had the name, but he wanted to create a company that focused on businesses that support veterans.

GreenZone Hero does just that.

“What we did is create a cyber-medal system. We award companies medals; we give them tools to enter into the trillion-dollar a year North American veteran marketplace,” Krotec said.

In just 18 months, they’re in 30 states, along with Canada and Australia.

“We just wanna get companies exposure and help them to improve their business in a very loyal marketplace,” Krotec said. “Keep America strong by patronizing businesses who actually care about those who sacrifice the most.”

What started as just brainstorming around a fire circle 19 months ago, now supporting places where veterans can turn.

“Even me, when I left the service in 1989, you’re like on an island,” Krotec said. “The biggest thing for me is letting veterans know they’re not alone. We want everybody to shop a veteran-friendly company.”

To learn more, visit greenzonehero.com.