Local man overcomes hardships; opens hot dog stand - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local man overcomes hardships; opens hot dog stand

By Heather Sawaski

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Sgt. Troy's Veterans Hott Doggs is a dream for one Wausau man. And it's becoming a reality.

It all started a few years back. Vietnam Veteran Troy Johnson was released from prison, and homeless. He was taken in by Randlin Homes, a safe haven for veterans in need. They got him a place to live, a job at the VFW, and now recently, the means to start up his own business.

"Everyone's been so supportive in coming out and embracing my idea," Johnson said. "I'm just still amazed."

Randlin Homes sold him a trailer, and the VFW is helping with all the equipment, electricity, and a prime spot in their parking lot, overlooking the kayak course.

Not only is this endeavor a dream come true for Johnson, but also his 2 sons. They moved across the country to come help their father run the business.

"I was really excited and I'm very proud of him," explained his youngest son Troy Johnson. "He's come a long way from being out of prison and the community has been helping him out so I'm very happy and proud of him."

"He's a man I look up to," said his other son Christopher Wright. "I strive to be like him and overcome any obstacles I may encounter. He's just a great example of how you put hard work into your dreams, do the right thing, and stay in God's word, and good things will happen."

Johnson has already invested his savings, about $7,500 , into the hot dog stand, which offers a military-themed menu of hot dogs, sandwiches, and snacks.

According to city leaders, it's the first Wausau business owned by an African American. That's something Johnson is keeping in mind as he and his sons get ready to open up, and offer something back to a community that's already given him so much.

"If there's a will, there's a way," Johnson said. "And all you have to do is apply yourself when you're receiving the type of help that I have received."

The stand opened Saturday. Johnson says if he sees success, he wants to open another stand across town next Summer.

Online Reporter: Heather Sawaski

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