As we sit in our air conditioned homes, trying to stay cool, Christmas is probably far from your minds. Unless you have a loved one serving so far from home. For us the holiday planning needs to start early. We are already searching for that special gift to add in a care package.
This year I would like to spotlight two wonderful men and give out some fantastic suggestions for gifts. This first story made the news last year and I thought it deserving to bring Bob Gilead back on to center stage!
Stocking up for the holidays
Camosock attracts military attention
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006
When Bob Gilead packed his daughter’s Christmas present in 2004, the gift he folded into the wrapping would soon become a thing of beauty in many homes.The gift — a 19-inch-long stocking made of Marine fatigues — was the personalized creation of Bob Gilead.
His daughter Elizabeth Gilead, a U.S. Marine, received the first Camosock, the stocking’s trademark name, while she was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, far away from her family in Hyattsville.
Bob Gilead said making the military-style present made him feel close to his daughter.
‘‘The first Christmas she was away from home I was wandering around the Target in Laurel in November looking at the Christmas stockings. I wondered what it would look like to have stockings made out of the [military] uniform material,” he said. ‘‘I wanted to do something different and special for her.”
It was then that he thought of the Camosock.
Each sock is made of material unique to the branch of military it names, differing slightly from the authentic cloth for national security reasons.
A pocket similar to that of a military uniform, complete with nameplate, is sewn onto the sock, which is also trimmed with red piping. North Carolina-based Lyons Industries for the Blind makes the nameplates.
‘‘It’s a business that’s started and is off the ground,” Gilead said, adding that he has already shipped 2,000 stockings to various retail locations around the country. A Marine gift shop in Okinawa bought 16 cases of the stockings. He is now trying to get Camosocks to the women stationed over Christmas at Parris Island Marine Corps Base in South Carolina.
Gilead said he wanted the stockings manufactured in America. The fabric is supplied by a company in Rhode Island and the socks are put together by a manufacturer in Pennsylvania.
Like his daughter, Gilead, a Hyattsville resident for the past 25 years, served as a Marine from 1963 to 1967.
Gilead said he is donating 10 percent of the net profit of each stocking to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, based in California.
The group was founded in 2004 by wives of military men to provide financial and emotional support to Marines injured in combat or training, and other military officers who are directly attached to Marines, said Nancy Walker, the non-profit’s director of community relations and marketing.
‘‘When someone’s loved one is injured like that, you drop everything and go to the hospital,” she said, adding that many injured military personnel are sent to hospitals far from their homes.
‘‘It’s a huge financial toll on the families,” Walker said.
The military subsidizes some travel expenses for families to visit their sick, but often only for immediate family members. This is why the organization has welcomed Gilead’s contribution to the fund.
‘‘We are honored that Mr. Gilead has chosen the Marine Semper Fi Fund,” Walker said. ‘‘It is only because of the support of people like him … that we are able to continue our mission of assisting those that protect our freedom.
‘‘When we saw [the stockings] we were just like, Oh my Gosh! We have to use these. They are so cute.”
Raphael Talisman⁄The Gazette
Bob Gilead of Hyattsville, a former Marine, holds up custom-made Christmas stockings he produces at his home.
http://www.camosock.com/ <-Please check out the link and be sure to give Bob a hug from me.
The second person I want to salute today is Chuck Travers. He is the wonderful Soldier who put together the video that I shared on my We Miss You post some time back.
MSG T. Will be making another ‘trip’ (sounds so much nicer than deployment) to the Sandbox in the near future. Sir, you and your family are in our hearts and prayers as you prepare once again to enter the Belly of the Beast.
Please check out his site http://www.caps4vets.com/
I have taken the liberty to share a picture of a couple of the hats.
and one more
(info from the website)
CAPS4VETS was created by Chuck Travers. Chuck has served in OPERATION JOINT GUARD, OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM and OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. After Chuck returned home from Afghanistan he wanted to purchase an OEF cap. He spent days searching the internet for a cap and was unable to find anything remotely close to what he wanted. That’s when the idea was born!
Chuck approached us with the idea of producing embroidered souvenir caps that would include operation name and unit patch. At CAPS4VETS all of our caps are designed by a Veteran with Veterans and Active Duty personnel in mind.
After months of preparation and research CAPS4VETS was officially opened on 27 May 2006 with custom made designs from the latest operations (OEF & OIF). Our product line will continue to grow to include caps for NAVY, AIRFORCE and MARINE CORPS and COAST GUARD personnel, as well as family members and civilian contractors.Our ultimate goal is to be able to provide a design portal where customers can choose and preview the exact elements to be embroidered on the cap front, sides and back.
We look forward to watching CAPS4VETS grow, while continuing to provide you, our customers, with the “perfect cap!”
As of January 2007, the CAPS4VETS website, is now operated and maintained by BOBROIDERY. Same people, just a different company name.
I have already picked out two caps! Please take a look. They have many, many patches and cover all branches of the military.