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As Veteran’s day falls upon us, it presents a good opportunity to reflect upon this great nation, where we have been, are and will be.
History has shown veterans repeatedly answering the call from our nation’s leadership. Going where others won’t, without question, because they understand the oath taken to protect and promote freedom across the world.
Presently, veterans find themselves in a struggle to rehabilitate from physical and mental injuries. There is the additional stress of re-calibrating skill-sets honed from military service towards productive economic careers. These challenges come with the territory and responsibility of defending the world’s greatest nation. But hope and resilience runs full here. As my wife and I have learned through our small sock company, there are a slew of wonderful Veteran support groups and non-profits that are stepping up to help our brothers and sisters in arms.
Moving forward our nation will struggle to maintain the peace and democracy, so imperative towards progress, both at home and throughout the globe. On that end, we veterans and civilians can rest easy, knowing that we have the finest all volunteer military in the history of the world. We have a military comprised of the nation’s best trained, most capable, and dedicated service men and women in the planet.
As a nation handling uncertainty, division and very real economic hardships, I encourage everyone to consider the following: The past, present and future sacrifice of our military members allows for the most fundamental precept of any great nation – freedom. As a former military member turned civilian, it is easy to recognize that our military success in preserving security and freedom over the world is only possible due to the unification and dedication of the diverse volunteers that make it so. So while we civilians rightly should recognize and appreciate our veteran’s efforts, we should also embrace our great diversity of ideas, cultures and backgrounds, and unite for the common goal of making the world a better place.
The Sox Box has a new partner: the Semper Fi Sisters
When Brenda reached out to the Sox Box and let us know of her need we were all ears.
The Semper Fi Sisters deliver care packages to our nations war fighters on the front lines. The field conditions and deployment conditions in general mean that having nice new socks are on the top of a soldiers list of niceties. The Sox Box will be teaming up with the Semper Fi sisters to get the men and women the gear they deserve -- high quality, made in the USA socks! We are glad that we can be a part of the great work these women do and happy to have them be part of the Sox Box Veteran Alliance
Are you prepared? Sox Box knows who is: Team Rubicon. We are very happy to introduce our new Team Rubicon Sock. This sock is on our short list of favorites because of what it represents. Team Rubicon is the embodiment of selfless service, integrity and true grit. This organization answers the calls when natural disasters strike -- either domestic or international. Team Rubicon maximizes their impact by combining veterans with medical professionals to deliver timely and necessary help where and when it is needed most. What makes this group very special is their focus on our nation’s veterans. Team Rubicon (mission) proactively addresses veterans transition needs allowing them to apply skillsets learned from the military towards disaster response. They additionally promote the cohesion, camaraderie and leadership that “bridges the gap” that our nations war fighters make from the military to civilian life. We are further honored to integrate Team Rubicon into the Sox Box Veteran Alliance, our core group of veteran non-profits that maximize value with little overhead costs. Go out and join, donate and support Team Rubicon when you can. Simply stated: These guys and gals are awesome!
Our friends at Spartan Alliance ,a Sox Box Veteran Alliance partner, have requested a call to action from the community towards addressing yet one more sad case of veteran suicide. The Spartan Alliance, our small, all volunteer, non-profit organization, donated $4,000 towards LCpl Stephen Coning's immediate family in order to pay for burial costs. LCpl Coning's story and impact to his family is explained in greater detail within this story run by NPR: After a Vet's Suicide, Getting VA Benefits Can Compound A Families Grief
If you would like to learn more or help more directly please see the LCpl. Stephen Coning Memorial Fund established by the Spartan Alliance.
At Sox Box, we are constantly searching for more innovative ways to save this world. Words on Sox are great and all but what about all those people who hate the written word? The answer hit us fast and furious, let’s create some images and art it up! An image can say a thousand words. Sox Box searched far and wide to find an artist up to the task. We journeyed to middle earth, land of the Hobbits (New Zealand actually) and we found Richard Andersen: https://ragraphics.carbonmade.com/about Richard delivered some most excellent designs!
These new socks say that you have arrived… but then they don’t ‘actually’ say anything. Such is the beauty of our new line of Art Socks: What you say to others, you don’t need to say because it is already expressed within the imagery of your sock.
Our new line follows some old rules: Top quality high grade combed cotton, made in the US, stay up elastic top, cushioned bottom, thin breathable top foot & smooth toe seam. As with all Sox Box socks, 20% of proceeds are donated to the Independence Fund and other designated charities.
We hope that you enjoy these socks as much as we do. To our friends against words, find your pleasure from our the socks that say stuff without saying stuff. Un-word up brother!
Search our new art line here
Athena & I had the opportunity to take part in the Arnold Classic held annually at Columbus Ohio. The event showcased premier fitness athletes from all over the world. These athletes dedication to their profession, whether it be the strong men and strong women, fitness and physique competitors, or incredibly athletic and talented WWE wrestlers, all came together in one inspiring event.
Of course the highlight for us Soxicans was meeting up with our nations current and veteran military members and their support groups. Sox Box met with the Team Rubicon Group. If you haven't heard of this group before please click their link above and learn more. This outstanding organization fills two incredible gaps, disaster response and recovery, and the intelligent engagement of military service veterans for mutual support of this cause. We were thrilled to engage with some Rubicon members and looking forward to our potential for future collaboration.
Second we met with the founding team from Military Muscle. What impressed me so much with this group was their dedication to our nations service men and women. In fact, their founder and most of their team are comprised of veterans and they dedicate 10% of proceeds to veteran causes. On top of that, they have some awesome designs so please check them out.
Finally we met the representatives from the Yellow Ribbon Fund Words don't express the gratitude I have for this group. The Yellow Ribbon Fund provides practical assistance to veterans and their caregivers who are transitioning from the battlefield or the military and need basic goods and services that they may find hard to come by otherwise.
Most inspiring for me was the privilege of meeting Yellow Ribbon Fund rep. Carey DuVal, a current 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. Carey lost part of his arm from an IED explosion in Afghanistan. Below is a picture of Carey dead lifting 405 pounds! Even more impressive was my conversation with Carey when he talked to me about alterations he will be making to his right arm that will facilitate a rope climb which he must pass in order to become an Army Ranger. For all the motivating and inspiring athletes at the Arnold, Carey was tops for us.
A final shout out for our nations finest elite special forces Navy Seals
When the Arnold got toughest for Sox Box and we hit our hunger lows, the Seals came through with four Chipotle Burritos and some awesome Seal gear --we love you guys!!
Athena and I had the honor of being invited as guest speakers on a panel for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) open discussion about Certified B-Corporations. As the first certified B-Corporation in Monterey County, it was a unique opportunity to share with our local community our story to why we have become a B-Corp., what it means to us and our companies values. A certified B-Corporation is a business that has attained certification as a company dedicated to doing good for society. Certification is measured against environmental, social and cultural impacts. For The Sox Box, the decision to become a certified B-Corp. was easy. We live in constant remembrance of the sacrifice our military service members make for our freedom. The calling of our volunteer soldier force is significant, critical and fulfills a commitment to the sustainment of our most basic freedom, justice and pursuit of happiness. The civilian workforce battle is here and now. Business can and should be a force for good, not only as a moral imperative, but to close the civilian end of the bargain. I understand that bargain to be the free enterprise, commerce system doing all things necessary to promote the betterment of society that our military has fought so hard to protect. As a former military member, I will continue to work within our business to fulfill the civilian obligation. Service to country and community never stops, it just takes on a new mission.
Please join us for a round of applause and recognition of our newest athlete Mr. Ian Deyerle. We love Ian because he is an underdog... he represents struggle and triumph over adversity... key values we hold dear at our company. Ian has overcome addiction problems to quickly rise to one of the elite athletes in the nation for Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). Currently Ian stands at 14th in the OCR World Rankings.
Recently Ian took 1st place at Spartan Stadium San Francisco. At the recommendation of East Coast OCR Athletes, Ian then traveled to Boston for the Boston Spartan where he took first place on both the Saturday and Sunday event.
With many relatives having served in the military, Ian shares our strong support and appreciation for our brothers and sisters whom have sacrificed so much on our behalf. We share that salute Mr. Deyerle!
Learn more about Ian here:
Please welcome new Independence Fund Executive Director Army Sergeant Tommy Rieman!! After speaking with Tommy I can say that in addition to his incredible bravery and heroism, he is also a friendly and humble individual. The Sox Box looks forward to continuing our work with The Independence Fund and its new leader.
About Sergeant Rieman:
deployed three times, Kosovo and Iraq twice. During his first tour of Iraq in 2003, his convoy was ambushed by heavily armed insurgents near Abu Ghraib – Rieman used his body to protect his gunner, refused medical help several times, defeated the insurgents, moved the convoy out the way, was ambushed again, suppressed that attack and set up the medical evacuation. Rieman was shot twice and sustained 11 shrapnel wounds during the Iraq ambush. 34-year-old Rieman, from Kentucky, received a Silver Star, Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal of Valor and was President Bush’s guest of honor at the 2007 SOTU. He has two children, Landon and Ellie.
The Sox Box was privileged to participate in the Carousel of Happiness Memorial Day ceremony which also marked its fifth birthday. The Carousel’s creator, and Vietnam veteran, Scott Harrison drew tribute to all military veterans, including two of his close friends lost from combat in Vietnam. Scott then passed a microphone around the carousel where, somberly, community members announced and reflected on friends and family members deceased in combat or by suicide from our nations wars. Following the emotional tributes, a bagpiper played Amazing Grace while the carousel moved slowly without any riders to honor our nations fallen. I cannot remember a more moving ceremony that so clearly illustrated our nation’s loss and great price of the freedoms we enjoy today. We are proud to introduce the ‘Happiness’ sock. The sock is a small token of our appreciation to Mr. Harrison and his incredible life work.
More about the Carousel:
The story of the Carousel of Happiness is the story of a young Marine, a derelict carousel, and the small mountain town of Nederland, CO. It starts in 1910 when a Looff carousel was installed at Saltair Park, outside Salt Lake City, Utah. During its 49 years at Saltair, the carousel survived fires and wind storms. It was moved to the Utah State School where it was enjoyed by people with disabilities until 1986, when it was sold and stripped of its wooden horses. Meanwhile, a young Marine in Vietnam, Scott Harrison received a tiny music box that he held to his ear to balance the horror of war. He began to dream of building a carousel in a mountain meadow. Decades later, when Scott heard of the empty, abandoned Utah carousel, he rescued it. He would spend 26 years carving animals to bring it back to life. As he finished the last of 35 animals, the community of Nederland pulled together and raised money to build it a home. The Carousel opened Memorial Day, 2010, with the first ride a silent memorial to veterans. A little over a year later, the Carousel awarded its 100,000th rider a special card, giving her free rides for life. The winner was a 5-year-old girl who was living in Boulder while her father was deployed in Iraq. The Carousel has become a destination for families, senior groups, organizations serving people with disabilities, parties and weddings. A local dating Website called it a perfect place for a first date. As a non-profit organization, the Carousel relies on volunteers and donations to keep rides $1 so that everyone can experience that feeling of joy. The Carousel aspires to share proceeds with organizations that serve people with special needs.
To donate please visit the Carousel’s Website.
The Carousel of Happiness Carousel of Happiness
20 Lakeview Drive PO Box 1811, Nederland CO 80466