How to send a hero a letter without picking up a pen
'Tis the season for the giving of gifts. 'Tis also the season of FOMUG (Fear Of Messed Up Gifting). We get it. It's hard out there for an elf. Team WATM would like to offer you some guidance.
For your pal in the army:
~ Don't send a salami; send them an actual letter. (There's an app for that) ~
Sandboxx: a digital solution to the analog problem of military morale.
If you served in the military, then there's a truth you hold to be self-evident:
There is nothing — nothing — better than getting mail.
Shake this one, Gene. I smell salami... (Image via Smithsonian Institution)
Nowhere on earth — outside of elderly care facilities and summer camps — is snail mail so coveted and mail call so anticipated as it is at the boot camps, bases, and outposts of the U.S. military.
But staying in the loop while you're downrange gets trickier every year as smartphones divorce almost everyone you know from the memory of their own handwriting. And how are they supposed to send you photos? Go out and get them printed? Stop.
Its just so... quaint.
Somebody with military experience and a knack for tech entrepreneurship had to come along and fix this problem.
That somebody is Sam Meek, an Idahoan and former U.S. Marine Corps Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Defense Specialist, who found that in the civilian sector, the problem-solving mentality instilled in him by the Corps is a very valuable and leverageable asset indeed.
"I found it really fascinating that I was beating out kids... that had college degrees and... could actually articulate a cover letter for a resume. I realized that the experience that we garner in the military brings so much more... to a company than sitting in class for four years."
–Sam Meek, Cigars and Sea Stories Podcast
Working first as Director of Development for a Wall Street hedge fund and then taking a mentor's Marine Family Readiness platform concept and pivoting it toward present-day Sandboxx, Meek perfected the twin arts of making one's own opportunities and capitalizing on those that arise from the heat of action.
Though Sandboxx has evolved to serve a number of important networking and communications functions for the modern military — see Units and Travel — its marquee offering is still getting letters to deployed troops.
Now there's an idea...
The app allows friends and family at home to tap out a message on a smartphone, upload a photo, and then have that digital missive converted to physical letter form and sent to their loved ones, wherever in the world they might be deployed. Sandboxx even includes a postage-paid return envelope to make it easy to reply from the field.
It's military morale made simple and intuitive. It honors a rich American history of supporting our troops, one personally penned and postmarked message at a time.
The 2017 We Are The Mighty Holiday Gift Guide is sponsored by Propper, a tactical apparel and gear company dedicated to equipping those who commit their lives to serving others. All views are our own.
Speaking of Propper, they're giving away twelve tactical packs filled with gear from our Holiday Gift Guide. Click this link to enter.