Local veteran to be honored at White House for start-up that helps fellow veterans

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Navy veteran and businessman from Kansas City will be honored at the White House Wednesday afternoon.

James (Jim) Allen, Jr., is set to receive an entrepreneurship award for creating a start-up company that helps other veterans called Honor Capital, LLC.

Allen traveled to D.C. early Tuesday, but Fox 4 caught up with a fellow veteran and close friend of his about the exciting experience.

"The phone rings and it's the White House calling and he said first he thought it was a joke, because the White House calling?" recalled Kevin Benson of his conversation with Allen a few weeks ago. "Give me a break. But it really was!"

It was the shock of being recognized for your work in the most recognizable house in the country.

"How fantastic!" Benson said of Allen's good news. "I'll probably be grinning so hard my face will split."

The two are golf buddies, fellow veterans and have been friends for nearly a decade. They're bonded together by memories spent in the service and are now building new memories as Allen receives the Champions of Change award.

"He's recognized by the White House for crying out loud!" Benson said. "That doesn't happen every day!"

It's a recognition reserved for just a handful of veterans who are transforming their communities through successful small businesses and non-profits.

"I think that's what really makes him stand out," Benson said of Allen, "He can translate ideas into action."

Allen's Kansas City start-up, Honor Capital, LLC, helps post 9/11 veterans become small business owners.

"It's to bring veterans together with investors to create jobs, build communities," Benson explained, as he serves on the company's advisory board.

"It's a veteran story," he said, "someone who served something larger than himself and then brings back all of those skills into hometown America to the business community."

Vice-President Joe Biden's wife, Jill, is set to talk at Wednesday's program.

The White House will stream it live on its website. To learn more about the award, click on this link .

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