When the day bends down to night, the stars are not the only things that shine.

After-hours are working hours for Patriot Commercial Cleaning.

"We start from top to bottom," said CEO Timothy Smith. "We'll disinfect all the restrooms, we'll vacuum the floors, take out all the trash."

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Smith never thought he'd be a small-business owner but he started the company after ending a previous career.

"When I first got out of the military in 2007, it was hard for me to find employment," Smith said. "I couldn't find a job for about six months."

Smith, a US Army veteran, served in Iraq in 2004 when road side bombs were the weapons of choice for insurgents.

"Back then," he said, "we didn't have any up-armored Humvees so what you used to do is put double sandbags on the bottom of the humvee in case we did take impact."

And one year in Iraq can last the rest of your life.

"April 29, 2004. Eight of my buddies from Charlie battery were killed in action over there," Smith said.

One of Smith's employees is also an Iraq war veteran. Kenneth Griffin spent 26 years in the Army.

And another, Howard Battle, was a U.S. Marine.

"It's like one big family," Battle said. "So even though at 18, I left home but I fit right in with another family."

In fact, every employee of Patriot Cleaning knows all about being a patriot.

"Since 2011, we have hired more than 40 veteran employees and about 12 family members of veterans," Smith said proudly.

Since Smith was once one of the one million unemployed veterans in the U.S., he opened doors for his fellow vets when he started his own business.

"When we do things together, we smile at each other because we know veterans helping veterans is our motto," Griffin told us.

"We do for each other. We help each other and we help others out," Bradley added.

Smith was recently in a battle with another enemy; lung cancer. It's now in remission thanks in part to chemotherapy and the healing therapy of his military brothers.

"It just means a lot to be working with these guys and gals that I served with," Smith said.