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A Heart for Service: Finding Purpose in Supporting Our Military

Matt Baumeister understands the value in the work he does. “One of my favorite parts of my job is assembling tool kits for the military. Since I can’t serve in the military because of my eyesight, this is about as close as I can ever come, from a support standpoint.”

Baumeister, an employee at IBVI for more than 8 years, is motivated by a deep sense of purpose.

“I want people to know that people with disabilities can and do want to work,” said Baumeister.

In fact, there are few that work as hard as he does. Baumeister, a tool kitter since 2014, sees himself as a self-starter and self-motivator who does meaningful work through IBVI.

“I know I serve a greater good… All I can do is live my life and hope others notice and choose to emulate me because I become an example to them.”


Tool Kitting for Military Jobs

Every new kitting opportunity we get helps create a job for an individual that is blind or visually impaired. For instance, as a tool kitter, Baumeister packs kits designed for specific military jobs, including evidence-collection, carpentry, plumbing, and direct response.

Although he is legally blind, Baumeister takes advantage of his nearsightedness to examine tools for quality and make sure all of the parts work. When asked about how it feels when military members come to pick up the finished kits, Baumeister added, “It’s a proud moment because you’re getting confirmation of your contribution.”

All of IBVI’s kits are made to meet the military’s unique needs and specifications—whether that means they’re completely custom or made-to-order in large volumes. We can design, source, and produce the fully compliant, custom products and kits our customers need—when they need them.


Supporting Military and Healthcare Workers Throughout the Pandemic

Despite not technically being in the military, Baumeister knows he’s making a difference in supporting the troops—near and far—with the kits he’s compiling here at IBVI. This impact has become more apparent over the past few years of the pandemic.

“During the early quarantine days of COVID-19, I was still able to work because I was an ‘essential worker,’” said Baumeister. “Then, one night, I came across a news story highlighting the emergency hospital that military members set up in the Wisconsin State Fair Expo Center, thanks to the tool kits our Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin plant produces. I showed my wife the video and said in a choked-up voice, ‘I’m doing good, I’m making a difference.’”

Baumeister describes that experience as one he will never forget. “It was a great source of pride,” he said. Throughout the year, we send the same kits across the world to aid various troops overseas.

Stories like Matt’s are inspiring in that they serve as a reminder of the many people working behind the scenes to support the military and government, sometimes in unexpected ways.

According to Baumeister, it’s a common bond he shares with his co-workers and something that’s not taken lightly. “I take my work very seriously and I’m proud of what I do to support our troops. Each and every one of us are.”


IBVI: Military and Government Purchasing Experts

As an authorized AbilityOne® provider and GSA contract holder, we’re familiar with all military and government purchasing regulations. When asked what a military group can expect when working with us for their kitting needs, Baumeister offered, “With us, they can expect to have all of the pieces that belong in that tray in the correct quantity, in the correct place, and free of defect or imperfection. We make sure to do the work accurately and fulfill orders in a timely manner.”

Contact us for more information about our kitting abilities and other services.


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