William Romes and Tom Kerr would like to announce the creation of their company Eighth Order, Inc as well as their initial product campaign. They have both been friends of mine for years. I’ve always admired their service to this great country as well as their creativity.
Eighth Order is a foray into Veteran advocacy by the two with the expressed intent of Veterans helping other Veterans tell their stories. After nearly two decades at war, American Veterans are suffering in staggering numbers, with far too many homeless on the street, self-medicating, and taking their own lives. Post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries are far too real and far too prevalent to sit idly by and not do anything.
With stacks of uniforms in our closets and an idea in our minds eye, we’ve set to doing something…anything…that can help other American Veterans.
As I stare at the stacks of utility uniforms in my closet, I remember thinking, “It’s going to be a shame to throw these out. There’s a lot of money spent, and hard work put into those.” Then I thought… “…and a lot of memories too…” With that I thought there had to be a way to re-purpose those uniforms. I remembered seeing the Eagles and Angles products posted on SSD and I thought I may be able to do something similar, but unlike what they’re working on. I thought those guys were doing awesome things and didn’t just want to “me too” something. However, their message is strong, and it resonated with me. Veterans telling their stories is a powerful thing, and not just for people to hear and celebrate, but also because talking about things helps them heal, even if just for a moment. With that in mind, I called the first person I could think of who would tell me to “knock it off, you’re an idiot”. To my surprise, Tom told me to do it, do something, do something about it…and that he wanted to be involved.
We have been working through the back end of this business since January and it is time to get moving. The product offerings will be a range of casual oxford style shirts with the inside of the cuffs, button line, and inside of the collar fitted with pieces of the donated utility uniforms. The uniforms are donated by American Veterans, along with as much or as little of their story they care to share. Those uniforms and stories will travel together to our factory in California. When a product ships, they will go with a card that discusses where that uniform has been and the things it’s seen. The goal, once this initiative gets off the ground is that a percentage of each sale will go to a Veteran non-profit organization focused on PTSD/TBI treatment and rehabilitation programs. With regards to transparency, I have spoken with a number of these types of organizations and to a company have told me to hold on that portion first off. They tell me that I should make sure the business is moving properly before committing funds to their organizations. One gentleman told me that nobody gets help if your company fails because it can’t pay its bills…ease into it.
Our initial offering is being launched on Kickstarter, with possibly a second product on that platform, to get things moving and funded. We anticipate offering several casual oxford style shirts as we walk this path, as well as a couple variations of blazers.
Our initial samplings are based on standard S-XXL shirt sizing. These shirts are made with 100% American cotton, meant to be worn untucked or tucked in and/or with a tie. When we roll out our blazers, they will be simple construction casual wear 4 way stretch Tweave or a similar textile. These products will be made exclusively of American textiles, in America, by Americans employed by American companies.
Thank you for taking the time to understand and we look forward to your support.
By: William Romes
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