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Local veteran nonprofit needs help finishing, building project

Posted at 3:51 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 22:41:45-04

Operation Phantom Support, a nonprofit dedicated to helping veterans and first responders, has been building an ax-throwing and rage room franchise to help veterans start a new life as franchise owners.

It’s all part of their veterans-to-employment program and an opportunity the veterans involved are eager to get off the ground.

"I came here to be a part of the veteran training program and when I got here I realized that there was a franchise opportunity, and it got me really excited to be a part of the pilot program," said U.S Army Veterans, Luis Garayua. "So, we’re just waiting for the opportunity for Zach and I to open up this program.”

The problem is, they haven’t completed the build and now funds are running out ... bringing the project to a screeching halt.

"Our goal was to be open September 1 but it turned out that we fell behind a little bit," said John Valentine, Founder of Operation Phantom Support. "We ran into some funding issues and some unknown costs that weren’t projected. Which, has zapped out what we had left and now we’re, as you can see, not done yet.”

They need $100,000 to finish the project, but what they really need now is skilled people and businesses willing to volunteer.

"We’d be able to let them become sponsors at our business here and do all kinds of things to help them out later on," said Valentine. "There's opportunities for businesses that step up and help us but right now we need a plumber, a painter, and a construction team.”

There is still a lot of work like expanding the bathrooms, building the rage rooms, and a two-story portion for office space and a VIP area, to complete a vision they say will help veterans start a new life out of uniform.

"It’s a way to have a good-paying job that is going to provide for you and your future family," said U.S Army Veterans, Zachary Smiley. "Which is something that is why we are sticking this out and why we have faith that this is going to work out.”

They said they believe they have come a long way so far, and just need a little help to get to the finish line.

"We got a little more fund-raising to do to get to where we need to be," said Valentine. "But, hopefully, the community at large and some of the people in the area can help us.”

Operation Phantom Support obviously needs to raise money but what would help the most right now, is finding folks like painters and a plumber willing to donate their time and talents to make this dream a reality.