What can we do to help our returning veterans as they are honorably discharged from the military? Our nation owes them a great debt of gratitude, after all, they’ve given up the best youthful years of their life to serve. Some suggest we ought to make sure that when they do get out that we work to put them first in line for job openings. I am okay with that, and as a former franchisor, I wonder if we should assist them in helping themselves into a new business of their own. Okay so, let’s talk shall we?You see, General Petraeus wrote an interesting Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal on March 27, 2013 titled “Training Veterans for Their Next Mission,” by David Petraeus and Sidney E Goodfriend where he stated; “the issue for many returning soldiers is not just a job. It’s a career.”The other day, I was contacted by someone who wanted to get into the franchise sales business, either working independently or for a major world-class franchisor. Now then, around here, the economic development association has been working with the US Navy which unfortunately is downsizing, and many qualified folks, nearly pre-approved are taking buy-out, leave early deals. Some may very well be suited for franchise ownership, and easy to get financed if need be, plus, former military are good team players, they will follow the franchisor’s system and thus, better chances for success.So, can franchising play a part in keeping our returning veterans gainfully employed with long-term “careers” and not just jobs? Yes, I believe so, of course, I also believe we need to change some of the rules, making it easier for franchisors to offer franchises and improve the speed from initial contact to turn-key small business franchisee operation. We can do this by streamlining rules and regulations on franchising, and as a free-market advocate, I think we ought to also consider streamlining all small business activity at “every” level of business.Another thing we need to do is not make it so tough on local neighborhood banks which might underwrite loans for local businesses. Seriously, if we are all in agreement to support our troops here at home after their service then we ought to walk the talk, and up until now, I just don’t see that when it comes to franchising – a place where our military veterans have a chance to really succeed and win. Please consider all this and think on it.