GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Nate Peltier was 25 years old when he left the military. When he was first arrived home, his mother was the first to notice something about him was different.
"She kind of looked at me," said Peltier. "She said, you know something is different about you, and I said that I was fine."
But, something was different.
"You're in the military and have to tuck everything away," said Nate.
His problems wouldn't stay hidden for long.
"I had a really tough transition time," said Peltier. "I struggled with alcohol."
It took meeting up with fellow veterans before realizing he needed to get some help. He finally came to terms with it, and found refuge with the Salvation Army. He's been sober for almost three years now and has turned his dream into a reality.
"I was deployed and my friend, now business partner, was deployed at the same time," said Peltier. "We'd write back and fourth and talk about our dreams and passions. We always knew we wanted to open a military themed restaurant."
Those dreams are now a reality.
Peltier and his partner opener Silver Star Cafe in March, and launched their food truck, Sliver Star's Deployed Unit, a month after.
"Silver Star is one of the top military awards given," said Peltier. "We wanted to relate that to our food and service."
The owner wanted to give back to veterans. He wanted to give them a place to hangout and share stories.
Silver Star Cafe continues their military theme through their food as well.
"Our whole ordering system is a rank system, or meaning that is military related," said Peltier. "We also use dog tags with numbers on them to keep orders organized."
Peltier's favorite dish is the "Colonel Peltier" which he named after his grandfather. "When you think of colonel's you think big," said Peltier. "It's one of our biggest sandwiches."
Since opening in March, Peltier says the support has been overwhelming. With veterans and civilians alike traveling from all ends of Michigan to get a taste of the Silver Star Cafe, Peltier says he is thankful. He plans to continue to pay tribute to his fellow vets in and out of the cafe.
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