By Josh Gagnier We are not special and we are not...
Hero of the Week: Ranger Up?
Editor’s note: The following was sent to me via email. I have toiled with posting it for the last several weeks but finally said “fuck it.” Haters will hate. -RU Rob
By That Guy
First off, why the hell not? All they do is champion a warrior culture through inventive shirt designs, hilarious You Tube hits, informative writing (even if it lambastes someone, it is very well researched and thought out, mostly), and through their unambiguous giving.
Some will ask—what have they given to? While I am not one to opine about things I do not have firsthand knowledge of, I do know that RU gives, and gives, and gives some more. We all know that Nick sponsors fighters. How can we not know that? We see their wares adorning many of our beloved MMA fighters (unless they are in the UFC—damn sponsor rules) as they kick the crap out of wannabe tough guys. I think that in one of his writings, RU Nick specifically talked about how they go about sponsoring people.
Nick also a champions several non-profit organizations that support Veteran interests —a group that is dedicated to ensuring that their volunteers work tirelessly to demonstrate active care and concern for veterans, the wounded, deployed service members and their families.
What about Nick championing hiring veterans? He went so far as to start his own training regimen to get vets to start their own business. We have seen two vets start their own business after going through the tutelage Nick gave them. I have yet to see anyone do the same on such a meaningful scale—face-to-face.
These are just a few things that I know very little about. Now let me tell you about my firsthand experience with RU. As a member of the military, I heard about Ranger Up some time ago. I perused their website, ordered a few shirts, and read most of their writings on the Rhino Den. When I arrived at West Point, I found out that Nick went to school here. I thought, after talking to several Cadets, how could I get them involved? How can I get Cadets to see that the company is more than just coffee and hate—that they are here for veterans?
I got a wild hair in my ass and actually joined Twitter….. sorry, that was so hard to type….. just to try and connect. As soon as I shot them a “tweet” they responded. I was one of approximately 5000 followers and got a reply within the hour. Damn. What has happened since has been nothing short of a guide on how to give back to your community.
I asked them to sponsor a Cadet team, they said yes. I asked for rash guards, they said yes. I asked to send them a Cadet to learn about small business, they said yes. Every time I talk to Nick, he asks “what do you need?” They did all of this for a guy they had never met face-to-face. I still cannot believe that I have been fortunate enough to know such gratitude. But it doesn’t stop there.
Every year at the Academy, the various branch representatives put on a formal “ball” for their respective branches. This year we were anticipating the 3rd Annual Maneuver Ball (since Armor and infantry are now training together at Fort Benning—the Maneuver Center of Excellence—it is the de facto IN/AR ball) and were blindsided when we were told it was not happening. Due to lack of funds and the historically-low Cadet turn out, some thought it was not worth the time. A few of us were not deterred. We took the reins and trudged on to try and make this event happen—really because if there was going to be a Force Sustainment Ball, there better damn well be an IN/AR ball.
As we planned through the details, we found that Cadets were not willing to pay $40 to attend the ball with a date. So we tried to cut costs and it was not going to work out. I asked Nick if he could help. Up to this point Nick had been giving me all kinds of things just because I asked. I have literally met him face-to-face once—and he said yes. I won’t go into to details about what they did, but our ball would not have happened without Ranger Up. They made a shirt for the Cadets and we were able to give each of them one. We had over 200 Cadets go! It was a blast and we were honored to have MG H.R. McMaster speak. When I handed MG McMaster his “shirt,” he said “These guy fu**in’ rock!” Yes sir, they do.
So, I ask again—why the hell can’t Ranger Up be the Hero of the Week?