With the Memorial Day holiday approaching quickly, I wanted to share this blog post again from 2014 when we printed 4×6 note cards for a Marine going to Afghanistan. We must NEVER forget our men & women fighting for our freedom all over the world.
I wanted to share an experience that took place in the store in February of 2014 that made every one of us smile with pride.
A man and his mother walk into the store (this isn’t a bar joke), and ask us to print and laminate a series of 4″x6″ note cards. No big deal, right? Sounds simple enough. But the man is a United States Marine Corp Officer and he needs these made for each of his men who will be leaving soon for Afghanistan. The note cards are something his men will need to help them do their jobs and to also help keep them alive. They are printed with text on both sides, encapsulated with clear lamination and we punched a single hole in the upper right corner. None of us can really see the significance of how these cards are so vitally needed. I suppose it’s just one of those things like needing a bucket to carry water.
Our staff proceeds to get the job done. Nancy shows me the job ticket and asks what we should charge him. It’s Friday afternoon and this was our basic rush job that happens all the time so everyone was working on getting these note cards done before we closed. I told her to give it to him. “Really?” she says. “YES”, I replied. As I was watching the progress of the trimming and finishing, I told our staff that we weren’t going to charge for this job and they were all surprised as well. I commented that the U.S. Marines aren’t sending me a bill for defending my freedom and I’m not about to give them a bill for something they tell me they need. I instructed Nancy to ask to see the man’s military I.D. when he comes to pick up the job, hand him the job and say “Thank YOU for your service!”
Needless to say, everyone had a tear in their eye and a bit more pride with the thought our little print shop was actually going to be able to make something so vital and useful for our soldier. When he shows up, Nancy does as we discussed, asks to see his Military I.D., checks it out, hands it back to him with his job and says “Thank YOU for your service.” He hands Nancy his credit card and she says NO, this one is on us. Well, hugs all around and I get a firm handshake with a big thank you from the man dressed in civilian clothing.
Fast forward 3 weeks, the Marine’s mother shows up at the store with flowers, brownies and a 2 page hand written letter. Her son is in Afghanistan now with his men, using the 4×6 laminated note cards we printed for them. She wanted to let us know how much our efforts were appreciated. Really? I was floored! Our efforts? I’m standing here thinking this man is putting his life on the line to defend my country and I’m being thanked? I’m sure you can see the irony here. Nancy and I opened the letter and read a U.S. Marine Corps Mother’s words on how important it was to her to see people outside the military be genuinely concerned and still care enough to do something like what we did. The flowers were beautiful and the brownies were devoured by everyone before the end of the day too.
I just have to say how grateful I am that this man found SLB Printing for this job. In this highly competitive industry, with margins so thin, I’m not sure any other printing company would be willing to do something like we did. I also need to say THANK YOU to all of our existing clients who make it possible for us to do a job like this and proudly give it away for free. Each and every one of our clients should share in the pride that my staff and Nancy and I now feel about the job we just did.
Update: 6-6-14 This picture arrived today via email from Afghanistan:
We are displaying this image printed at 36″ x 48″ proudly in our lobby area along with copies for the above story.