By Heidi Glaus
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Considering more than 300 girls rush through the hallways of Incarnate Word Academy daily, you'd think it would be hard to find someone wanting to clean up after them.
"Being the cleaning company of a school is really being the cleaning company of a small town," said Molly Grumich, principal at Incarnate Word Academy.
But to Tim Smith and his crew cleaning floors and windows is more than a business opportunity.
"I was in the army from 2003 to 2007. I was actually deployed to Iraq in 2004," said Tim Smith, president and CEO of Patriot Commercial Cleaning.
After serving his country he returned home only to find out finding a job wasn't easy.
"I got back in 2007 and it took my about six months to find employment that was probably the lowest time for me cause I couldn't find a job, I still had a family to support and I was just kind of feeling hopeless," said Smith.
Not sure what to do, he went back to school and got his degree in social work and while he was there a mentor introduced him to The Mission Continues.
"Through the different training programs I thought you know what I can start up a business to help employ veterans the way the mission continues helped me out," said Smith.
So in October of 2010 he opened Patriot Commercial Cleaning and now he employs 16 veterans. The idea is that this not only provides a service, but allows these men and woman to proudly serve.
"We know if we clean the building to high expectations everybody wins and more veterans get hired on," Smith said.