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White House honor comes as vet’s business totters

DURHAM, NC (AP) — A former Marine Corps sniper in Iraq who started a coffee shop that employs fellow veterans is to be honored at a White House event Wednesday even as he solicits online donations to stay open.

Intrepid Life Coffee & Spirits owner Matt Victoriano admitted Tuesday it’s ironic to be honored as an example of the successful veteran-turned-entrepreneur when he may have to shut down in less than two weeks. He says he won’t hide the fact he’s trying to raise $27,000 to pay back rent and make improvements.

Victoriano is one of 10 veterans or their supporters being honored as “Champions of Change” for their entrepreneurship. It’s one in a series of White House events celebrating people who advance causes ranging from solar power to higher worker wages.

Emery Dalesio can be reached at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio

Associated Press writer Jonathan Drew contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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