Support Our Troops® Biker Apparel Line Licensed by The Official Gear Company
Introducing the Support Our Troops® biker clothing and merchandise line to benefit the troops and their families.
Daytona Beach, FL, March 1, 2006: Martin Boire, Chairman of Support Our Troops, Inc. announced today that the Official Gear Company will be an official licensee of Support Our Troops biker apparel and merchandise. During bike week 2006 in Daytona Beach, Florida, Official Gear Company launched the first of a series of t-shirts, pins, patches and various other SOT® merchandise that will be featured at bike events and retail outlets to benefit the troops and their families.
[caption id="attachment_4976" align="alignleft" width="142"] Visit the SOT Store or XMagnet.Com[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4975" align="alignleft" width="142"] Support Our Troops® Apparel line[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4977" align="alignleft" width="142"] Brian Holt, President Official Gear Company[/caption]
Brian Holt has been in the merchandise and distribution industry for 21 years and is excited to be a part of SOT, stating "It's an honor to be involved with such a fine organization benefiting the families of the troops."
Official Gear Company's client list includes Harley-Davidson, Hollywood Choppers, Cracker Barrel, Publix, Hard Rock and many more fine retail outlets. Brian Holt is acting Director of Merchandising Accounts for SOT and can be contacted directly concerning merchandising or event distribution efforts with respect to the sale of SoT merchandise.
OFFICIAL GEAR COMPANY
1297 OCEAN SHORE DR # 4
ORMOND BEACH FLA 32176
Visit www.SupportOurTroops.org for more information and media downloads. Please call SOT to schedule interviews with either Martin Boire or Brian Holt and with any other media related questions.
For Release 9 a.m. EDT, March 1, 2006
Support Our Troops, Inc., announces the newest member of its Heroes Board, Harley-Davidson® legend and Sturgis Hall of Fame member, Bruce Rossmeyer.
Daytona Beach, FL, January 31, 2006: Founded by civilian and retired Florida attorney Martin Boire, Support Our Troops, Inc® (SOT®) is a nationwide charity based in Daytona Beach, on a mission to bolster the families of our brothers and sisters who are out there daily, working to protect all of the rest of us. SOT is doing this through the sale of DMV-issued official Support Our Troops specialty license plates in each state, clothing, the sale of various merchandise (stickers, pins, flags, and ribbons etc.) both online and at retail venues across the United States and most recently, through the cool and less conventional sale of raffle tickets for the Support Our Troops Custom Harley-Chopper Raffle.
Funds from these activities will help keep the troops' families intact while their parent(s) are engaged in protecting our families, whether it is a peacekeeping mission, a war, or a hurricane, flood, or other disaster. It is going to help pay for education, medical, home needs, emergency transportation, and the like -- the kinds of things that dad or mom could do if they were home. Since Support Our Troops is destined to quickly become a major and permanent national charity, it has established the Heroes Board, which is quickly growing to comprise many of a number America's finest.
[caption id="attachment_4981" align="alignright" width="325"] Bruce Rossmeyer ‚¬" Daytona Harley-Davidson CEO, President[/caption]
Harley-Davidson® legend and Sturgis Hall of Fame's, Bruce Rossmeyer is now one of them. Bruce Rossmeyer got his start in the automobile industry in the late sixties in New Jersey and later moved to Daytona Beach and opened his first Harley-Davidson dealership in 1994. Bruce now has over 13 different dealerships in the United States and has achieved the coveted Gold Bar and Shield from Harley-Davidson Motor Co. This honor is awarded only to the top 25 dealerships in the United States and Daytona Harley-Davidson was ranked third among the elite 25 in 2001.
Bruce could easily be described as the "Big Man with the Huge Heart." as quoted from the Sturgis hall of fame web site,
"The motorcycling industry knows Bruce as a phenomenal businessman who started his first Harley-Davidson® dealership in 1994, growing it into multiple dealerships with annual sales exceeding $140 million. What's even more important is what motorcyclists, kids and the citizens of Florida think about Bruce, who, in spite of the overwhelming task of operating a huge business, always makes time to help kids and families in need."
Support Our Troops chairman, Martin C. Boire, in January presented Bruce the opportunity to join with the Honorable Sonny Montgomery, author of the Montgomery G.I. Bill, as one of the first members giving service on the Heroes Board. Bruce readily accepted, and following up by agreeing to help build the first Support Our Troops Custom Harley Chopper.
[caption id="attachment_4982" align="alignright" width="208"] Martin Boire Chairman, Founder of Support Our Troops, Inc.[/caption]
The Support Our Troops Custom Harley-Chopper will generate publicity for the charity in a cool way by touring the United States during 2006 at 10 different motorcycle rally locations across the country, and through raffle tickets will raise money for the work of Support Our Troops, Inc. on behalf of the families of the troops. The chopper is scheduled to be unveiled at Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona® during Bike Week this March.
Destination Daytona is Rossmeyer's 150 acre complex is home of the world's largest Harley-Davidson® dealership, J&P Cycles, a 100 room condo hotel, Saints & Sinners Pub, two night clubs, and several unique shops and restaurants. "We are excited at this partnership says SOT Chairman Martin C. Boire, "not only do we have the honor of having Bruce on our advisory board, we also get to be a part of something new in Daytona in a big way.
Bruce has extended the opportunity to show his support also by becoming a licensee of the SOT apparel line through Biker Design Company. Now visitors to Destination Daytona and any of Bruce's 13 Harley-Davidson locations can purchase official Support Our Troops® apparel and accessories at any of his locations and know that a portion of their purchase is going to bolster the troops and their families."
Every successful great project has mentors who provide invaluable guidance, have charted similar courses before. These mentors are the people who are able to make good things happen quickly. These keystone individuals are those who provide wise advice, build bridges, locate funding, make connections and open doors to make great things happen for good causes.
The Heroes Board comprises just such magnanimous individuals. Since Bruce Rossmeyer is involved in a number of community and charitable organizations his input will be valuable to the future success of SOT as it relates to both families and the biker community. He serves on the boards of directors of the Boggy Creek Gang Camp and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County and he is also involved with the Fort Lauderdale Toys in the Sun Run, an annual event benefiting the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.
Martin Boire summarizes Support Our Troops, Inc. as follows: "We are focused on families, on kids, on spouses, on their futures. We are positive, forthright, energetic, and deliberate in our belief that an enemy may compel a soldier to leave his family, but they will not steal his family's future." He continues, "if I were in the military defending everyone's freedom it would be nice to know that if something were to happen to me my friends and neighbors would be able to ban together and step in and help my family. I am honored to announce the newest addition to the Heroes Board because Bruce Rossmeyer holds this same vision for America's troops and their families."
By Cpl. Heidi E. Loredo
II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward)
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq, Jan. 17, 2006 -
Cincinnati native Cpl. Tasha M. Monz is on her third deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, proving the war in Iraq has become yet another major milestone for women in the military.
This time around, Monz, assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 8, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), serves as the battalion commander's radio operator and often finds herself in volatile areas as her job takes her beyond the camp's concertina wire and into the streets of Iraq.
[caption id="attachment_3008" align="alignleft" width="304"] Twenty-two-year-old Cpl. Tasha M. Monz is on her third deployment to the Middle East. Monz, assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 8, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) serves as the battalion commander's radio operator. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Heidi E. Loredo[/caption]
"I love it," said the 22-year-old, referring to the weekly convoys she rides in. "We went on two convoys yesterday. I thought it was going to be an issue out here at first because I thought they weren't going to let females off base. As long as I know what I'm doing I'm not worried about it."
When this deployment is complete Monz will have spent just under two years in the Middle East in the course of three years; two months in Kuwait and 20 months total in Iraq.
"I like being deployed," said Monz with a smile. "Honestly, the whole purpose of me coming back here is for the junior Marines. I don't mind being out here. It's not a big emotional thing for me. I just make sure my Marines are ready to go and give them a heads-up on what to expect out here."
A wealth of knowledge and experience gave Monz an advantage, and she was able to walk into this deployment ready to take charge.
"Corporal Monz is one of the best radio operator/communicators that I have worked with in 23 years," said Lt. Col. Francis X. Carroll, commanding officer, CLB-8.
"As a noncommissioned officer, she seeks responsibility and looking out for other members of the vehicle crew and the platoon," he added. "The fact that she is on her third tour in Iraq and she has orders to 1st Marine Logistics Group (which means she will likely be back for a fourth tour), speaks volumes about her dedication."
The blue-eyed corporal is confident in her military occupational specialty proficiency and she's certain that is the reason why she holds the position on the commander's security team.
"In September 2005, the battalion S-6 told me that he was giving me his best communicator as my radio operator," said Carroll. "Cpl. Monz has exceeded all expectations. Particulary when operating outside the wire. (She) facilitates my ability to command and control the battalion operating across a large battlespace."
During the December Iraqi national elections, the battalion had six different units operating in and around the cities of Fallujah, Kharmah, Ameriyah and Ferris. Monz opened the lines of communication resulting in situational awareness and ability to influence the battalion's operations.
"I can take someone outside and show them the ins and outs of a piece of equipment," said Monz with confidence. "I think that's a good quality to have. I want these Marines to take back with them the MOS knowledge that'll get them further. If they know the job when they come out here they can teach someone else."
But the enjoyment of her deployment was abruptly overshadowed three months into her tour. Monz received word that her 42-year-old mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"It seems that every time I come out here something happens to my mom," said Monz. "It was hard and I worried, but I knew my mom was a strong person and my step dad and sister were taking good care of her. She reassured me she was going to stick through it and she'd be fine."
Monz secluded herself from others to find relief after she received news of her ill mother.
"When I first found out I didn't want to be around anybody," said Monz. "I figured I'd lay low for a while. She's good now. She had surgery and radiation to remove most of the cancer."
Although her mother was fighting a personal war against cancer, Monz refused to let it dampen her spirit and instead focused on her mission here in Iraq. Upon her return, Monz plans on treating her mother on a trip to Las Vegas.
"We're more like best friends, and I definitely look up to her," said Monz. "We're big Jean Claude Van Damme fans, and when I went on leave I bought every movie there ever was with him. I think we only got through two of them. She looked fine and was doing well. I still talk to her every single day."
After three tours in the Middle East and various obstacles she overcame while deployed, Monz plans on a future deployment and also hopes to be a career Marine.
"I think retiring at 38 sounds really good," said Monz.
By Spc. Lee Elder
133d Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
BAQUBAH, Iraq, Jan. 13, 2006 -
He's worn many hats throughout his military and civilian life €“ college football player, undercover narcotics police officer, expert field medic and Emmy-winning sports television producer.
Now, Sgt. 1st Class Victor R. Fermin is playing yet another new role as the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Public Affairs Office for the outgoing 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. While it's been a different assignment for him, it's one he has excelled at, said his supervisor, Maj. Steven Warren, public affairs officer.
"He single-handedly doubled the PAO shop's effectiveness and efficiency," Warren said. "He's a very dynamic leader, and he understands soldiers and soldiering."
Fermin came to the office by accident. An Army Reserve soldier with Company C, 445th Civil Affairs Battalion from Shoreham, N.Y., he deployed to Iraq last spring to serve as the unit's medical sergeant.
"We just get plugged in where we are the best fit," Fermin said. "They pulled me from my unit and put me in the PAO when they saw there was a need."
It's been the latest of many career changes for the 36-year-old native of New York City. The son of a Spanish father and a mother from the Dominican Republic, Fermin grew up playing football in high school and wanted to go to college to be a history teacher.
Fermin continued playing football while attending Iona College in his native city.
However, he didn't wind up in the classroom after his college studies were concluded.
"I come from a family of cops," Fermin said in his thick New York accent. "My father is a retired cop, my brother is a lieutenant and my other brother is coming up for sergeant."
By the time Fermin turned 21, he had completed the police academy and was walking a beat. He was on the fast track to becoming a detective.
"I really enjoyed the hell out of that job," Fermin said. "Then I got stabbed and shot at, and I got tired of seeing the ugly side of people."
It was then that Fermin left the police force and joined the Army Reserve in 1996.
"I was always fascinated by the Army," Fermin said. "I always wondered if I was up to the challenge."
Among Fermin's greatest challenges was earning the Expert Field Medical Badge. It's attained by passing a grueling regimen of tests and physical challenges that culminates with a timed 12-mile road march.
"I worked really hard to get a couple of my doctors to let them send me," Fermin said. "I'll never forget coming back from the march all sweaty and nasty telling them, €˜Look, I did it!'"
After completing his basic and individual training, Fermin returned home. With two young sons, he needed to find a new civilian career.
An old college friend of Fermin's was working at ESPN, the New York City-based sports cable network. He used his connection to secure an entry-level position there.
"A week later, I was working in their video archives logging videotape and putting in a computer database," Fermin said. "Then, I started taking editing classes."
From there, Fermin became an assistant director, then a director and later an assistant producer. He then moved up once more to become a producer for the network.
"I've always been a good guy at getting things done," Fermin said. "You make your name in the business by networking and doing good work.
"That's how your name gets spread around."
In 1997, Fermin and others conceived the idea of profiling some of the best-known competitors of the 20th Century. It was decided the series would be called "The Century's Greatest Athletes."
The series was finished in 1999 and aired later in the year. The following year, the television industry honored the series with the Emmy - the highest award. Fermin and 33 others shared the victory.
"The winners included writers, producers, directors and filmographers," Fermin said. "I think even a couple of gophers who were dedicated to the project won awards."
Fermin said he loves working for the network. His coworkers also have been very supportive of his military career, which is helpful since he has mobilized three times during the past four years.
"They are always taking care of me," Fermin said. "They gave me a big sendoff and they are always sending me boxes full of stuff."
Fermin said he regularly receives magazines, books, football jerseys, baseball caps and other sports memorabilia from his civilian coworkers. Two days before his interview, he got another big package from his friends.
"I'm still getting stuff," Fermin said smiling.
As he prepares for a new role here during the final months of his tour, Fermin has enjoyed learning about the Army's public affairs operation. He said it has a long way to go until it can compete with its civilian counterparts.
"The most challenging part is the logistics of getting people out to cover the stories," Fermin said. "You don't just go call up a travel agent."
Warren, who is also prepared to depart the theater, said Fermin's success is due to his focus on mission accomplishment.
"Whether it's infantry, medical or public affairs, he knows it's all about accomplishing the mission," Warren said. "He came in and was able to get our soldiers to operate more efficiently."
By Sgt. Jerad W. Alexander
2nd Marine Division
CAMP AL QA'IM, Iraq, Jan. 12, 2006 -
It can be said communications is one of the central ingredients of modern combat operations in Iraq. Marines must be able to communicate with one another through the use of secure technology in order to plan, coordinate and execute missions vital to the success of the overall mission here.
This is where Sgt. Leonard C. Murray, tactical data networker and data chief, Communications Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, comes in.
[caption id="attachment_3181" align="alignleft" width="304"] Chicago native Sgt. Leonard C. Murray, data section chief with Communications Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, sits at his usual post -- behind the computer screen. Murray is in charge of the various networks Marines use aboard Camp Al Qa'im. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jerad W. Alexander[/caption]
Working with a team of eight Marines, Murray's responsibility is management of the communications networks on Camp Al Qa'im and various battle positions Marines of the battalion operate from.
"I'm in charge of various networks to include NIPR, SIPR and the EPLARS," said the 33-year-old native of Chicago', referring to the internet protocol routing network, the secure internet protocol routing network and the enhanced position and locating reporting system.Working with a team of eight Marines, Murray's responsibility is management of the communications networks on Camp Al Qa'im and various battle positions Marines of the battalion operate from.
"We build it as we go and it's constantly growing," Murray said. "We have to run the wire and have to monitor it."
His job also takes him out of Camp Al Qa'im. On a routine basis, Murray and the Marines under his charge head out to the various battle positions to install and troubleshoot the Enhanced Precision Locating And Reporting System.
"The EPLARS is a redundant link between the (battle positions) and the headquarters," said Murray. "They have the ability to call in (medical evacuations) and other reports over it."
The job, however, is not without its challenges.
"The biggest thing is the training of my Marines to be proficient in the gear we use out here," he said.
Added to this challenge is the fact that Murray originally started out in the Marine Corps as a machine-gunner.
"I went to the school, but out here it's been kind of a €˜learn-as-you-go' sort of thing," he said.
Murray doesn't let this affect him, however.
"Success comes to those who become success conscious," he stated.
According to Murray, the civilian equivalent of his job and responsibilities is that of a corporate network administrator, which has a salary anywhere from $60,000 up to $150,000.
So why does Murray stay a Marine?
"I love being a Marine because here I get to do this job in a combat environment," he said. "It's all about the uniform; I couldn't see myself in a suit and tie."
By Staff Sgt. Kevin Nichols
U.S. Central Command Air Forces News Team
BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq, Jan. 11, 2006 - If a picture can say a thousand words, Staff Sgt. Bonnie McKinley's picture of herself would tell you of a time when she, at 5-foot-4-inches and 25 years old, weighed 215 pounds, putting her at risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Not to mention, her Air Force career was in jeopardy.
She did something about it. She signed up for yoga.
When the Air Force mandated that she increase her exercise routine, she decided to try yoga because it had always interested her.
[caption id="attachment_3184" align="alignleft" width="304"] U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bonnie McKinley leads a yoga class during a break in her 15-hour shift at the Air Force Theater Hospital at Balad Air Base, Iraq. The 5-foot-4-inch respiratory therapist with the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group weighs 140 pounds. But, a few years ago, she weighed 215 pounds. She attributes her weight loss and fitness increase to the practice of yoga and a healthy diet. She is deployed from Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung[/caption]
"I fell in love with it from the beginning," said McKinley, a respiratory therapist at the Air Force Theater Hospital here.
Now 75 pounds lighter, she helps patients in the intensive care unit breathe a little easier. She loved yoga so much that she stuck with it and received a teaching license. Now, in a little room outside the hospital, she teaches medics and others here willing to give yoga a try."I fell in love with it from the beginning," said McKinley, a respiratory therapist at the Air Force Theater Hospital here.
"(Before the room was here) we'd get together and talk about exercising -- how difficult it was to get to sometimes after work," said McKinley who is deployed from Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.
McKinley decided to multipurpose a tent used for watching movies. She sent out an e-mail to see if anyone was interested in learning yoga and got a great response.
Her "fat picture," as she calls it, has become a centerpiece of her life now. It is a constant reminder of what she has lost and what she has gained.
"Have you seen my fat picture?" she asks co-workers. "I never want to be that unhealthy again."
Not only has she lost the weight, but she can now run six miles and teach an hour of yoga afterward.