Military Appreciation Month | ShotStop® Edition

Military Appreciation Month | ShotStop® Edition
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Military Appreciation Month was created in 1999 by Congressional vote to honor the men and women of our armed forces. The military gets the month of May every year as a way of bringing attention to the hardship and sacrifice that our military members make on a daily basis. 

This blog is our way at ShotStop® to say thank you to the United States military for the things they do. From the beginning, one of our company slogans has been “We Protect the Protectors”. We mean those words and strive every day to provide the best ballistic protection for the men and women who protect our families and communities. 

Why Did Congress Choose May for Military Appreciation Month?

May for the Military community is a month with the most possible significance to the history of our nation. May 8th is the celebration of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), which is the day the Nazis and Mussolini were officially defeated. The number of days throughout May that involve honoring our military only made sense that May would be the month we dedicate to our national guardians. 

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MILITARY SPOUSE APPRECIATION DAY

May 8th was chosen as Military Spouse Appreciation Day in part to honor the spouses of our military during WWII. When we talk about sacrifice and dying for your country, the loved ones of those soldiers are often forgotten. We, as a nation, rightfully are concerned with honoring the individual sacrifice of a soldier. However, we often don’t think about the repercussions of that soldier's wife, husband, kids, and parents. 

As I grew up in a military household with my father serving 26 years in the United States Army, I know a lot about the sacrifice my mother went through to keep our family together. Soldiers can and will be asked to go to an unnamed location, prepared to fight an unknown enemy, and not allowed to discuss any of it with their wife or husband. Unfortunately, the military spouse has to pick up the pieces and explain to young kids where their parents are, knowing he/she could not make it back home.

As a kid, I remember more times than I can count where I was tucked into bed by my father, and I wouldn’t see him or know where he was for 4-16 months at a time. I know it was always very difficult for my mom to tell us we wouldn’t be seeing dad for maybe the next year or so. I tell these stories to share actual experiences so our mothers and fathers can get the same respect as our military parents. 

ARMED FORCES DAY

Many people might be wondering, what is Armed Forces Day? When is it? And how is it different from Veterans and Memorial Day? Armed Forces day is celebrated on the 3rd Saturday in May. Armed Forces Day is a day to encompass all of our soldiers, past, and present, alive and dead. 

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Veterans Day is a way of celebrating the former soldiers who have fought in a foreign war and are no longer in the service. Memorial Day celebrates the men and women who have died in combat in a foreign war. Think of Armed Forces Day as a way to say thank you or maybe even buy a beer for anyone you know who has ever served in the armed forces.

MEMORIAL DAY

Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May and is meant to honor those who have given their lives in the name of the United States. Memorial Day for the soldiers and families of fallen soldiers is a day that we often have trouble getting through. Thinking about honoring the friends who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and the families they left behind is something I look forward to every year. 

ShotStop® has four other veterans on staff that are instrumental to our future success as a company. We’re fortunate to honor their friends and fellow soldiers and will always support the celebration of this federal holiday. Whether you think about the soldiers lost during the past 20 years, or of the millions of soldiers lost since our nation was created, it’s humbling to know we’re safe because of those men and women.

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HOW DOES SHOTSTOP® SUPPORT OUR MILITARY?

ShotStop® offers all of our military members an exclusive discount on all products we sell. If you’re reading this and would like to offer your Battalion or Squadron the lightest Level III or Level IV armor in the market today, contact our sales team at sales@shotstop.com. Our plates are worn by members of every branch of service. We truly believe that every member of our military deserves to be outfitted in the best available ballistic protection on the planet. 

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Duritium® IV+HS Body Armor Plate

The Duritium® IV+HS Body Armor Plate is known at ShotStop® as the “Big Dog” plate because it will stop anything shot from a handheld long-barreled rifle. It’s incredibly strong with the capability of stopping multiple Draganoff Sniper rounds. The plates I wore in Iraq were either solid steel or ceramic. One weighed 12 lbs per plate (Steel) and the other could only take one hit before being replaced (Ceramic). The Big Dog plate doesn’t worry about any of that with a fraction of the weight and thickness of any plate I’ve ever worn. The plate is only 5.3 lbs per plate and only 0.9” thick for the lowest profile you’ll ever feel. 

Since we designed this plate specifically for our soldiers, we wanted to ensure we had the confidence of the United States military, so we are providing the Army Special Threat Ballistic Report. The Duritium® IV+HS Body Armor Plate comes in two cuts; Shooter’s Cut and SAPI Cut. The Shooter's Cut is going to give you more mobility and a much easier time moving your arms without interference.

If our plates are taken care of properly, they should last you 15 years, which is 3x longer than our competition. If they don’t last 15 years, ship them back to us and we will make it right. You’re not going to find another plate with the durability, longevity, and performance that you’ll find with the Duritium® IV+HS Body Armor Plate. 

Duritium® IV+HA Body Armor Plate

As a part of Military Appreciation Month, we want the military community to hear about our newest Level IV +HA plate before we send it to the Press. All hyperbole aside, this is the lightest Level 4 body armor plate ever made. 

There is no secret why the small units inside the Special Operations community prefer to go with less protection and more mobility in the field. For most soldiers, reducing the weight you have to carry is more important than having better personal protection. 

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When I was carrying an M249 on ground patrol, I used to take my soft armor inserts out of my vest to reduce weight. Yes, I knew that I was more at risk, but I knew that I was going to be the first one ever targeted on patrol, so I wanted to be as quick as possible. 

Luckily for the newest generation of soldiers, they don’t have to worry about that now with our newest stand-alone Level 4 plate. The days of taking out your soft armor inserts after a patrol to get them flat again are over. 

We believe every soldier deserves to be outfitted in the lightest armor possible to enhance their mission effectiveness. The Duritium® IV+HA Body Armor Plate is only 4.5 lbs and is “listed-pending” with the NIJ. To enhance the comfort and reduce the profile of the plate, we made sure to keep it under 1” thick (0.9”) and it’s built as a multi-curve plate. 

WHAT SPECIAL THREATS WILL THE DURITIUM® IV+HA BODY ARMOR PLATE STOP?

When ShotStop® started to build this new plate, our goal was to change how our military views body armor. With 4 veterans on staff, we know what they went through and what they would’ve liked to wear based on their invaluable experience and input. Just like our Director of Operations, Jason Henkel, says all the time, “Protection is absolutely ShotStop®’s top priority, but being able to increase comfort, mobility and advance unique applications really differentiates this launch from others.” 

 

The Level IV+HA is designed to be a multi-hit Level 4 plate with special threat protections against any bullet our soldiers have faced in Iraq and Afghanistan. For example, this plate will stop multiple hits from the 5.56x45mm 55 grain ball (M193), 7.62x39mm PS ball (MSC), 7.62x51mm 149 grain M80 FMJ, NATO M855 (SS109) 5.56x45mm 62 grain steel core (SS109), M855A1, 7.62×54mmR Dragunov, and 7.62x63mm M2 AP. 

The Duritium® IV+HA Body Armor Plate will offer our soldiers and SWAT/Tactical protection against armor-piercing threats at a fraction of the industry-standard weight.  Nobody wants to wear excessive weight, especially during a wartime operation, tactical missions, or active shooter events. Simply put, “Our new 4.5 lb. Level IV plate  is positioned to dramatically change the way in which personal protection can be utilized in various environments and circumstances against any hand-held handgun or long-barrelled rifle threats” 

Conclusion

Military Appreciation Month is a special time for our nation to unite under one cause and support each other in the way we should. We know that our veterans, soldiers, and families don’t need to hear this, but thank you for your service and sacrifice for our nation. We’re humbled to support our soldiers across the world and look forward to continuing that service for as long as you need protection.

If you’d like to support organizations that provide for military and veteran communities, click the links below

Gold Star Families 

Special Forces Foundation

SEAL Legacy Foundation

Fisher House Foundation

Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund

Disabled American Veterans Charity 


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