Nearly 1 in 10 private companies are owned by military veterans, and a few programs have been started to help former service members in their entrepreneurial efforts. For example, the National Veteran-Owned Business Association has created a website, Buy Veteran, that allows customers to identify veteran-owned businesses. "We did a survey that showed 95 percent of Americans feel some gratitude toward veterans, and 70 percent said they would prefer to purchase from a veteran-owned business, all other things being equal," said Chris Hale, who started the association in 2005.

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