John Wayne Radio Voice: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America to the Republic for which it stands one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all”
Announcer: Welcome to the Vietnam Veteran News podcast: News of interest about Vietnam veterans FROM a Vietnam veteran; now here's your host, Mack Payne.
Mack: This is Mack Payne here here with episode 1770 of the Vietnam veteran News podcast news about the Vietnam War and the brave veterans who served there, as told by Yours Truly today I'm telling you what I have... whenever you hear delay like that that means I screwed up and I'm going to edit that out. >Joseph Laughs< okay I have two special guests with me today that are going to tell us all about a very special thing coming out of Waco Texas. Today we're going to be talking about something called The Legacy Staff. If you don't want to get one for yourself I'll tell you what, if you want to impress a friend of yours who is a veteran, or you know a veteran or whatever, if you give them one of these personalized sticks I guarantee you will be a friend of yours for life so now without any further ado, I'd like to ask either Joseph or Jediah to come on here and tell us about these; I'm excited to hear more about it because you tell me it has a very very interesting history so howabout it Joseph?
Joseph Clarke: Mack, thank you so much for having us,this is really exciting, it’s so good to be serving veterans at all let alone in this. Way we wanted to come and talk about the story behind The Legacy staff. The staffs speak for themselves and if you go on the website you can just take a look at them. They’re custom, handmade in America, by domestic product, but I actually want to hand it over to Jediah tell a little story about why do we do what we do.
Mack: Let me let everybody know you are Jediah, the son of the owner, so now that we know who's speaking so go ahead
Jediah Owen: Yes sir this is my first podcast, so you’ll have to excuse me if there’s any problems expressin’ myself here but
Mack: you're doing great keep it up
Jediah: thank you, Do i grew up around this stuff, and the company was actually started about the year i was born. Like any business or product your project usually starts and where there's a problem to solve or a need to fill and my dad comes from a long line of entrepreneurs trying new things starting different projects and at the time he was making custom picture frames but he was positioned in a small community where there was some folks that needed work, and there was an opportunity that popped up to make these handcrafted walking sticks for hikers and since then we have just grown, been a family operated business, and local employees. And just grown slowly and started selling to National Parks, state parks, lot of mom and pop shops a lot of hardware stores actually got to join the company about three years ago. I’m trying to meet folks needs, trying to solve problems, help people get outside, help people get exercise, feel inspired, not have to use cheesy aluminum medical devices, but actually carry around a American crafted, cool conversation-piece that functions really well. So that's kind of where I came out at it from, and in my experience
Mack: so how many employees do you have?
Jed: It’s actually a really interesting question there, because we have 9 employees here at the facility, but we have well over that amount... 15 to 20 at any given time. They’re Craftsmen, individual Craftsmen working from their homes. That really was from the very start of the company, because we felt like it was good for as many people to work from home as they could. They could be with their family that could be close, even may be a small-time farmer, they may have other projects going on, but they could. They could kind of incorporate their job into the the life they wanted to live with their family, and close to home, so.
Mack: So for many years you were making these sticks and canes and whatever and then you got into this Legacy Staff program which is aimed at honoring veterans. Tell us about that.
Jed: It really started Kinda there’s two threads. And one of them was my grandfather; he's now passed away just a couple months ago. He was a veteran of the second world war. He would love talking about his military experiences and... and that, but it's kind of awkward, you can’t just bring up ”hey I was a veteran, and you know…” to anyone that doesn’t want to talk about it. So we made a him a stick that had his rank, what branch of the military he was in had a nice medallion on top, and he loved it because you just be walking through the store picking up groceries or whatever, and whoever was interested would see, they might catch a glimpse of his stick, and say “oh, you served in the military?” and it was a perfect jumping off point to have a great conversation... became a kind of a jumping-off point for relationships. That was one thread. The other thread is our whole family loves history. Some of the most impactful history I’ve ever read personally has been about the Vietnam War I think it's especially an issue for Vietnam veterans because it's kind of the war not a lot of people like to talk about... so I can be contentious to some, can be embarrassing to some. Some people don't want to talk about it, some people don’t want to bring it up, the vets feel like people don’t want to talk to them about it, there's a lot of people I think genuinely interested. I know I for one and found the whole thing fascinating and and so how do you carry on the legacy of how you served or how your friends served or how your loved one served, in a way that's not offensive, it's not in your face but it's classy... besides the fact that it’s personalized that your name on it. But that's kind of the heart of what we're trying to do, and kind of why we’re doing it.
Joseph: You know, Jed what you said there was so interesting to me, it was really… it had so much to do with you relationship to Mitchell, your grandfather. The creation of that staff with a heartfelt gift from you to him, not just to honor him, but to free him to speak with people about this thing he wanted to share with people about the value of their lives and the value of their freedom and this was the perfect centerpiece for it. That's what always touches me about this.
Mack: Can you only buy these through the website and the people that buy them, are they people who are buying them for themselves if you can tell this or are they buying them for someone else?
Jediah: We've actually seen a solid mix but to go back to your first question; because of the nature of this particular stick and how to customized this is, you can pick what kind of wood whether it’s a cane or a staff, what kind of medallion... we offer almost a hundred of those... or you can laser you know, a custom design on there, you know you can contact us, but at the moment, it is mainly through the website.
Mack: You know, I’ve been to your website, and I see in there where you can customize this just about any way that's easy it's user-friendly you can tell him what type of wood and tell him the shape you can give your military service’n they’ll put a medallion on there. You can put names and everything, and say your grandfather was in the Vietnam War, you gave him one of these sticks... I can see how that would be a very very special gift to a veteran especially like you brought up earlier... when we came home from the Vietnam War we weren't really welcomed with open arms. There’s numerous reasons for that, but it is what it is and I've gone around speaking... not Coast to Coast but close to it, to different groups about the veterans. I still run into veterans will come up to you and talk since you are a veteran and they say I have never spoken about the Vietnam war after all these years strictly because of the way this person was treated at the airport San Francisco everybody who won the Vietnam they were just regular people like you and I and we were asked by the government to go over and serve in this war we went over there and we came home and just regular people glad to be home and some of the things that were said to those veterans he's just incredibly... terrible. and a lot of these guys they were affected by you know you're sensitive… You know, you come back happy, and then somebody comes up and starts screaming “baby killer” and all this, so I can see how a stick like this would be very special to them after all this time. So I think it's a wonderful thing what you're doing here, and encourage you... Matter of fact, I’m encouraging everybody to go to that website which will be on the show notes for this podcast episode, and order your grandfather uncle or whoever one of these sticks. I just can't say enough about it when I don't want to hog the show me where you're supposed to be doing all the talking, >Joseph Laughs< but I'm looking at this stick and I just get overwhelmed with what a wonderful thing it isn't that I'll something else I need to bring this up is there anyone else in the country doing anything like this?
Jediah: So, there is one fellow we are still in contact with.. that we kind of fed off each other, in working on this project... forgetting the name of his product right now.
Joseph: He’ll put out something on a much smaller scale, and there are others who will pop up across the country from time to time, for instance. they’ll take donation Christmas trees and turn them into sticks for veterans too, but nobody is going to be going year-round with International Dropship capabilities like us.
Mack: you're the only people doing it on a professional basis and people can rely on for consistent service and quality. You're going to be there where somebody just doing it on the side he might be there today and going tomorrow
Jediah: I just remember the name of the other fellow
Mack: Hold it!
Jed: Yes sir
Mack: We’ll talk about him after the call.
Joseph: We’re so excited about it, actually even just to be on your show what I think would be best for your listeners is if everybody on this show it would like a free stick or cane, email MackPayne@gmail.com m a c k p a y n e at gmail.com with your name your rank years of service Branch whatever you want to say about your service in the Vietnam War we're going to give away for free custom staff your listener can build with us from the ground up. One for each branch of the service that was present in the conflict in Vietnam.
Mack: Gosh, that's awfully generous. All right!
Joseph: we’ve got four to give away and everyone else that wants one, go to our website and type in Mack’s name MACKPAYNE in the coupon code bar and a small donation will go to the charity of Mack’s choosing
Mack: you mean I have to choose the charity? >everyone laughs< I'm honored that you would do that and I will definitely pick out a good one. if you were listening to this podcast, do not delay! send me that e-mail is simple Max Payne email@example.com I have one of these Legacy staffs and I am totally impressed with it. It is a fine fine piece of artwork. I will always treasure it and you'll do the same thing to you can be for you or you may have a loved one who is a Vietnam veteran that you would like to present to them that's okay just put that in your email and make sure you get it to me as soon as possible so that you might be the lucky one who receives one for your particular branch of service. If you are one of the lucky people who receive one of these sticks I guarantee you you will appreciate it it is a wonderful thing and I appreciate so much what those guys out in Waco Texas are doing to honor our Vietnam veterans that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it this is Mack Payne here closing out episode 1770 of the Vietnam era news podcast thank you so much for coming to listen to the stories; you are cordially invited to return again soon and often to listen to more coming your way on this podcast the Vietnam Veteran News.