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I come from a very large military family. While my father had a 30-year career in the military, he was never stationed in theater. My mom, on the other hand, saw it first hand. That’s a weird way to start off a strap story I suppose, but it was those stories my mother shared with me that have given me my perception of what it means to be a veteran.
War is a terrible thing. Unfortunately, due to human nature, it is sometimes a necessary thing. The men and women who put themselves in harm’s way in their call to protect freedom and human rights are the best of us - their trauma is real, whether you can see the scars or not.
At just 22 years old, my mother was a physical therapist for the Air Force, stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam conflict. She was assigned to treat soldiers wounded in combat and help them stabilize before they were transported back to the US. Needless to say, she saw an overwhelming amount of horrendous things during her time in Thailand. She constantly struggled with thoughts of a long road to “recovery” that so many faced - how their lives would be changed forever.
My mom was lucky enough to come from a very stoic upbringing. She was as strong and well prepared for her experience as anyone could be, but the things she saw still left their mark on her. All these years later, she still suffers the effects of that short period in her youth, whether she willingly admits it or not. That was her sacrifice, her innocence. Thanks to the fortitude of her character, she has managed to continue to live and prosper after her experiences, but this is often the exception for veterans.
So many veterans have been cast to the fringes of society. For many of them, the trauma of war has scarred them so deeply that they have immense difficulty going back into 'the real world' - the help that is there for them simply isn’t enough. So many of these heroes now feel like they have no purpose; they can’t hold jobs and have little to no support network to lean on, so they become lost. It is truly heartbreaking.
This is a special Strap with a purpose. You aren’t buying it for yourself, you're buying it for a soldier. You're getting it for someone who has sacrificed themselves in order to defend your freedom. This is their Strap.
Like all ZOX, this Strap is reversible. We ask that when you wear this Strap, you keep the outside art showing if you aren’t a veteran yourself. Then, when you find a veteran, turn the strap inside out to show the word “veteran” and put it on their wrist. Give them a hug and remind them how appreciated they really are. If you see someone wearing this Strap with the word veteran displayed, talk to them. Buy them coffee. Buy them lunch. Go out of your way to thank them for the sacrifice they made in the name of the freedom you are lucky enough to enjoy.
Every wristband made is a limited edition work of art for your wrists. ZOX are reversible with a design on one side and a positive message on the inside. Every ZOX is individually laser cut with a serial number to ensure authenticity.