On the best day for Americans in the Boston Marathon’s prize-money era, it was a man who took nearly six hours to finish who provided the most indelible image of American pride. Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, a retired Marine who lost the lower part of his left leg stepping on an IED in Afghanistan in 2011, was filmed and photographed throughout Monday’s 26.2-mile race. Sanchez wore a “Semper Fi” shirt, ran on a prosthetic left leg and carried an American flag. “I wanted to not only recognize veterans, but everyone that thinks that they’re unable to do something,” Sanchez told media afterward. “I couldn’t stand up for more than three seconds or walk more than two feet [after stepped on an IED]. And I found my for four, five years, just to be able to walk farther, be able to lift my body up. I kept on pushing it. Mentally and spiritually, I was good, so I wanted to push it even farther and do the marathon.” The flag Sanchez carried Monday was full of inspirational messages. Via Runner’s World: The flag was sent to him by his patrol unit as he recovered in the hospital. “I boxed it up for three or four years because I didn’t want to acknowledge it,” Sanchez said. “One day I opened it back up and read through the inspirational quotes they sent me and I was motivated.” “It’s not for me, it’s for others to be inspired, to be motivated,” Sanchez said on local Boston TV in the finish area. “We live for others. I’ve learned that throughout being angry, being frustrated. With all that PTSD, I’m channeling it to do positive.” He previously ran the Boston Marathon and Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., last year, carrying that same flag.
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.
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!
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!
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!