Waco Company Gives Customers Free Toy Soldiers to Remember Service Members
WACO, Texas (KWTX) – A Waco company is thinking “outside the box” … the ammo box … to find a way to honor the US military.
In the corner of Waco Ax Company is an old ammo box full of toy soldiers and a note: “Please bring a soldier home and put him somewhere that will remind you to pray for the men and the women who serve our country. “
“It’s one of those things where you really get a little smothered because you don’t think about your employees who are overseas,” said Will Craig, COO at Waco Ax Co. “They do. a lot for us that some people kind of take for granted.
Craig borrowed the idea from a Georgetown bar called Mesquite Creek Outfitters.
“Every time I went there I thought it was the coolest thing,” Craig said. “We’re looking to shift our brand a bit more towards the armed forces and the military, so I thought this was a perfect opportunity given that we have a lot of military coming here, it was a perfect choice for here. “
The owner of Waco Ax Co., Thomas Ellis, was an Army Special Operations Ranger.
“When you’re abroad it’s hard because you feel disconnected from your life at home,” Ellis said. “I really think when you have someone at home thinking about you, people you don’t even know, it’s just one of those heartwarming feelings, especially abroad.”
Ellis says many of his employees are veterans as well.
He says ax throwing is great for stress release and PTSD, and recreates some of the old fellowship that might be missed when they return home.
“When you’re out and about you’re kind of on your own little island and you come here with friends or meet other veterans who work here… adds a sense of oneness,” Ellis said.
He says it’s special to see how customers have embraced their free plastic green army men box.
“It’s close and dear to my heart, and I love that people embrace this and think of these soldiers,” Ellis said. “People used to take pictures of our murals here – now they take pictures of our box. “
Craig says the idea really took off.
“We’ll have people come here once, and they’ll come back, and they’re like ‘Can I get another one?’ and we’re like ‘yeah, 100 percent make your own little team,’ ”he laughed. “The response has been phenomenal, people have really embraced it, we get a wave of military families, they really appreciate it. “
Craig took out the wooden box about a month ago.
They hope the little box will make a big difference in honoring the men and women in uniform, past and present, and increasing patriotism.
“If that means anything to someone or if you tie that relationship to that little action figure, that little tin soldier, it makes you think of him a little more than you normally would,” said Craig. “Everyone should spend some time thinking about them because they do a lot for us. “
Waco Ax Co. also offers military discounts to show appreciation.
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