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Killeen nonprofit to open veteran owned axe-throwing franchise

Axe Monkey killeen
Posted at 3:13 PM, Dec 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-24 16:16:25-05

KILLEEN, Texas — A veteran based nonprofit in Killeen is about to open its first franchise as part of their veterans to employment program.

Operation Phantom Support is a nonprofit organization in Killeen aimed at helping active duty military, veterans and first responders.

Its Veterans to Employment Program is where "Axe Money" comes in.

”We get them signed up with a franchise," said John Valentine, founder and CEO of Operation Phantom Support. "They work and run that franchise for about two years until we pay off the investment money. Then we and hand them 60 percent of the company and they own 60 percent.”

Axe Monkey Killeen is launching the franchise portion of the program. Needless to say, it came with a few bumps in the financial road.

”We though we had funding set up, but it fell through," said Valentine, "so I had to go out and get some personal loans from some friends and my investors had to go back and get a little bit more money. Then we ran into some time constraints and other problems while we were doing the build out.”

U.S. Army veteran Zachary Smiley can’t believe his dream of owning a franchise is finally coming true.

”Didn’t think I would ever have this opportunity to be working as a manger of this location and eventually owning one in Waco in the next year or year and half," Smiley said. "So, it’s very exciting."

Now the grand opening is on Jan. 22, but Axe Monkey Killeen will have a soft opening in early January.