Survival Story: Waiting On Your Marine

Hi, folks

Here is one use of Survival Straps that came to mind as our son was completing boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

As a family we were trying to think of a way we could show solidarity with him while he was enduring The Crucible, the 54-hour exercise that is the defining moment of a Marine’s boot training.  Some families burn candles, but we didn’t want an open flame in the house when we would be at work or running errands.  So we decided to each design and wear a Survival Strap and not remove it until we were sure that he had earned his Eagle Globe & Anchor.

The day before graduation our new Marine had five hours of liberty available to us, and it was a tearful moment as we saw him for the first time in 5 months.  We showed us the Eagle Globe & Anchor that was awarded to him at the end of The Crucible, and we showed him the Survival Straps we wore to support his safety and success.

Attached is a photograph we took of the Survival Straps we wore that day when he showed us his EGA.

Waiting On Your MarineSo for families of Marine recruits who want to remind themselves of what their son or daughters are enduring on all our behalves, consider designing for yourselves a Survival Strap and wear it for each hour of The Crucible as a way of helping your loved one transition from recruit to Marine.

Respectfully,

Brian Shea

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Survival Story: Firefighters Brandon & Joey

Recently, Erika sent in this incredible Survival Story about her firefighter boyfriend and his partner while they were trying to control a house fire. They were in a quite an unpredictable situation and needed to escape fast. She wrote:

In July 2013, I purchased the wide Survival Bracelet with the stainless screw pin closure for my boyfriend’s birthday. Brandon is a firefighter with the Citizens Fire Department in Lock Haven, PA. Brandon is a former Fire Chief of the Bald Eagle Fire Company. He is currently a volunteer fireman at Citizens on his spare time and a part time driver with the department when needed. Brandon and I started dating 7 months ago, and I was and still am very clueless about the world of “firefighting.” When Brandon moved from Bald Eagle to Lock Haven with my children and me, he was very hesitant to join another company because he knew how demanding the firehouse is and how dangerous it can be. Knowing his passion and love for it, I gave him my full support to go and do what he loves and was born to do. Two months into being with the Citizens he has excelled from a volunteer firefighter to a paid driver as well as being a full time dispatcher with 911 and a part time dispatcher with Penn State University. He saves many lives day in and day out, and I’m forever thankful for the survival strap to have saved his life.


On October 12th, Brandon worked a 12 hour dispatcher shift on a busy home college football game and was waiting for me to also get off work.  He went to spend some time with the guys at the firehouse. Shortly after arriving they were dispatched to a house fire along with another company. Brandon and his partner, Joey, were upstairs of the two story house when they lost all radio transmission and water to their hoses. For 15 minutes they were trapped upstairs with the house engulfed in flames,  as the fire got hotter and was making its way up the stairs. They tried several alternate escapes without any success. As the fire got warmer Brando, said he thought to himself, “Erik, is going to kill me if something happens.” That’s when he felt his wrist getting warmer and remembered he had his survival bracelet on. He unraveled it and attached it to a bar and jammed it into the window jam and prayed that it held and jumped out the two story window with it, as did his partner. Brandon and Joey both made it, with minor bumps and bruises and aches and pains, but that’s far less than what could have happened if he hadn’t had that survival strap. Brandon is forever grateful that he had his bracelet and says that I saved two people’s lives that day just with that one gift that I came across online while shopping. I may have bought the bracelet, but if it wasn’t for the survival strap and its durability and great product I wouldn’t be on here telling you this Survival  Story. We are forever grateful for your product, and I plan on buying more of these and giving them to the other firefighters at the Citizens as Christmas gifts. It’s a small gesture but comes with a big reward, because someday it could save one of them as well when equipment fails. In the world of firefighting they say, “Let no man’s ghost return to say his training let him down.”

We are so glad that our gear played a part in saving these heroic firefighters while they were out protecting our country and citizens. We are so grateful for all that they have done and continue to do for our safety!

Do you have a Survival Story to tell? Don’t forget to let us know at stories@survivalstraps.com.

Survival Story: Bernard Anthony Gossen

We were so amazed and humbled to receive one very unique Survival Story this past week from US Marine Corps veteran, Jason Bellis:

“This is the story of baby Anthony, who endured survival at its earliest and rawest form and conquered and beat the odds of survival after being born 15 weeks premature. On April 5th, 2013 our friends Teila and Chris gave birth to their baby boy, Anthony, 25 weeks into their pregnancy (15 weeks early, expected due date of July 18th, 2013). The doctors informed them of the chances of survival, one that I think we all had a good idea of: the outlook of survival was not good but also not impossible. As the days moved forward and only a few close friends and family knew of the birth, my wife and I could only stand by and help comfort the parents as much as the hospital allowed while Anthony was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). My wife visited regularly and often, while I stayed home to watch our own 1 year old daughter and visited when I could.

After giving thought of how I could help more, I couldn’t think of much I could do, and then I noticed my Marine Corps Survival Straps bracelet lying across from me on our living room table. Immediately I knew I had to give this to Anthony. It may not be pulled apart and used as a tourniquet or some other physical life saving technique, but I knew that there has to be some other spiritual force that would work. “This is a Survival Strap, this is a Marine Corps Survival Strap!” I told myself. “This little boy is going to
survive!!!” If there is one thing that has never failed me in my life, it has been the Marine Corps, and I hoped that the spirit of the Corps would watch over this family. It has!

Anthony 2

Ever since Anthony’s first day of life, there has been the “typical” complications while at the NICU that, thanks to the help of a very qualified and professional medical staff, he has been able to endure and pass expectations. On August 26th Teila and Chris were able to bring their beautiful baby boy home. As of the writing of this letter, October 16, 2013, Anthony has been staying strong and surviving with only a few minor complications.

Anthony 1
As a side note, most items given to Anthony were not allowed in the NICU or to come close to the baby for fear of germs and other things. The hospital went above and beyond and actually let Anthony hold the Survival Strap for pictures. The strap otherwise was kept in a disinfected package next to Anthony the whole time while in the NICU. During that time, I believe two doctors passed by Anthony, stopped and asked, “Where did that little boy get that?” The parents explained the story and the two doctors explained back knowing 1) It is a Survival Strap, 2) It is a Marine Corps Survival Strap and that the gift
is a huge one knowing the importance of the survival strap to the Marines (or any service branch).

Since Anthony’s first week in our wonderful world, the strap has been by his side and the “spirit” of the Survival Strap has been with him since and hopefully will be for a long time. The parents have appreciatively thanked me over and over for the gift but also thank the Survival Straps Company for giving and keeping the hope of survival for their son through the “spirit” of the strap.”

Anthony and FamilyWe are overjoyed that Anthony is now home and thriving and that we could play a part in uplifting the Gossen family during this time. We wish the Gossen family all the best as they begin their new life as a family.

Do you have a Survival Story to share? Please let us know at stories@survivalstraps.com.

Survival Story: Survival Straps at Sea

Even on the most well-prepared of trips or adventures, unexpected events occur that can likely throw a wrench in your plans, which is why having 550 military spec paracord on hand is ideal. Peter learned this first-hand while on boat race with friends. He shared this exciting story with us:

“I was sailing in the Bermuda Race on my boat. The race was from Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda. We were going into an overnight race, and we had stocked up on everything. We had a week’s worth of food and water. We had half a dozen sails or more and many yards of line. The race was 635 miles, and we hoped to sail that in 3 to 4 days. It was the second night when the seas got rough and the winds started to pick up. I believe it was about 2 am and out of nowhere there was a giant BOOM. The main sail’s halyard had snapped. I was half asleep on the rail when it happened and was suddenly smothered by a 100 pound sail. When I emerged from the cocoon of sail, I found the halyard at the mast flopping around. I needed a line or something fast. I realized that I had my Survival Straps Survival Bracelet on and decided to use that as the fixing line. So I cut an end and unraveled the band. All the while, we are going through 10 foot swells and 20-30 miles per hour wind. So, I spliced the two lines together and fixed the line with the military grade paracord. As a result, we got through the storm and the race; we finished in fourth place over all. What was amazing was the fact that when I took the sail down, the paracord was still tough and strong – even after having thousands of pounds of pressure on it for 50 hours straight!”Peter - BermudaWhat a view! Congrats on a successful trip, and we’re thrilled to have been a part of such a cool adventure.

Do you have a cool Survival Story to tell? Don’t forget to let us know! Email your stories and pictures to stories@survivalstraps.com,  follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates and Survival Stories, and check out the many other instances where our customers used their Survival Straps gear, here.

Survival Story: Alena Chesser

Alena 1

Recently, we came in contact with one amazing young woman who has quite an inspirational story to tell. Alena Chesser, age 29, was practicing hand to hand combat with the US Army when she received news that she was living with a severe brain tumor. After going through one successful surgery, the tumor returned, and Alena started to experience aggressive headaches and uncontrollable seizures. She details her harrowing experience:

“January 16, 2013, I called my mom and I told her I wasn’t feeling well, then the phone went silent on her as I blacked out and fell to the kitchen floor.  I became status epileptics.  When I came to I was on a stretcher, and the EMS crew was looking at my Survival Strap Medical Bracelet.  They hadn’t seen anything like it before but followed the ICEDOT instructions.  It pulled up everything about me: allergies, medication, medical history, age, date of birth and even notified my emergency contacts.  This let my mother know I was safe in EMS care and informed my best friend and roommate something was wrong.

Without my ICEDOT membership the hospital wouldn’t have had any information on me, and without my Survival Strap Medical Bracelet they would not have been able to treat me as quickly. They would not have had my medical information, known what was causing the seizures, or what to give me.  Status epileptics is very dangerous and is what kills most people that have severe head trauma (from brain tumor and surgery) like myself.  Some data shows that 1 out of 5 patients that become status epileptics die because the hospital is unable to gain control and stabilize the patient.  I was not that person, because the hospital had all of my medical information available even though they had never seen me before.”

Alena, you are an inspiration! Our continued thoughts and prayers are with you. Keep fighting!

If you would like to purchase your own Survival Straps ® Medical Alert Bracelet, click here. You never know, it could save your life!

Survival Stories: More than Just a Bracelet

Wounded Warrior Project Black 550 Paracord Survival Straps Survival Bracelet

“I am an on the road Law Enforcement Sales manager for a distributor out of NY. I am also a Vet. Last night I was on the road in Kokomo, Indiana. I went out for dinner and while setting at the bar a man and a woman came in and set next to me. There really was very little conversation but a little chit chat stuff. Anyway the man got up to go to the restroom and his wife looked at my bracelet and said that her son had sent her directions how to make them but she had lost them. I said why don’t you ask him to send them again. Then I saw the pain in her face and the tears started flowing. She lost her son in Afghanistan.

I looked at her and said I am so sorry for you loss, but Thank You for your sacrifice. I then took the bracelet off of my arm and handed it to her and said this is from a fellow vet, keep it. She looked at me as if I had given her a million dollars. I left never getting her name and actually I almost felt naked because I was not wearing the bracelet so I went out today and bought another and hopefully I don’t have to give it away again, but if I ever have to I will do it with pride.
Thanks for making a great product, and giving me the opportunity to give it to someone who really needed it.”

-Al