Two army officers leaning over and latching a large pelican VSECK kit.
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Working and Serving: What Veterans Day Means to IBVI

Supporting the US Military gives Veterans Day more meaning

Veterans Day falls on November 11th, but many would argue that we should show appreciation and support to veterans all year long. At Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired, we show the support that many others do, but we have a unique connection to the United States government and military. Our close involvement with them makes this holiday extra special and gives our employees an enhanced purpose in what they do each day.

For some background, the holiday originally began as “Armistice Day”, honoring the end of World War I. Congress then passed a resolution to make it an annual observance in 1926, and it became an official national holiday in 1936. Veterans Day honors all those who have served in the United States military, not just those who have gone to war or who have lost their lives in battle.

How IBVI supports the military every day
As you may know, IBVI manufactures and assembles products for the US military and other government agencies. Some of these products may seem mundane, but military personnel uses them in little and big ways each day to keep their operations going. Brooms and toilet brushes keep facilities clean, and pens and office supplies keep operations running smoothly, but IBVI also supports the military with mission-critical equipment.

At our location in Menomonee Falls, WI, we have an operation specifically dedicated to military kitting. These are custom-made kits of various sizes that give military personnel everything they need to get the job done in critical situations.

What it means to serve
Of course, Veterans Day specifically honors those who have served in the armed forces. Because many of our employees are blind or visually impaired, they can’t serve in the armed forces in a traditional way. However, they still feel a true sense of service to our country by making these products.

In a recent interview with the local FOX affiliate TV station in Milwaukee, IBVI employee Matt Baumeister said, “since I can’t serve in the military because of my eyesight, this is as close as I can ever come.” Despite him technically not being in the military, he knows he’s making a difference in supporting the troops with the kits that he’s compiling.

We also have several employees at IBVI who are veterans themselves. They’ve moved on to the next chapter of their lives but still get the privilege to provide meaningful support to the US government and military.

November 11th isn’t just another day at the office at our facilities across southeast Wisconsin. In fact, every day is a special opportunity for us to give back to our country and to honor those who have served. This Veterans Day, and every day, we hope you do the same.

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