Founders: Sandy Wheeler
I headed out to Vietnam, arriving in DaNang on September 5, 1968, and did not return home until April 7, 1970. One of my best friends, Dennis, was to be discharged in about two weeks and we were looking forward to celebrating life back home together. Instead, when I arrived home, I was informed that Dennis was killed in action on April 5, 1970, only 2.5 hours south of the base I just left…..simply unbelievable. Dennis’s baby boy would never see his father and his wife would never see him alive again.
That was truly a point in time when I can say that this vision got its roots. I was sick with grief that this baby boy would never get to hear his Daddy’s voice, play ball, wrestle, or do any of the things little boys desire and need.
Fast forward to August 6, 2011, when I received a text from a Navy SEAL who is like a son to me. I could tell something was terribly wrong. I called him and learned that one of his best friends, a mentor and Navy SEAL Team 6 member was among several SEALS who were killed in Afghanistan when their Chinook (call sign Extortion 17 – One Seven) was shot down, killing all thirty men on that chopper. Lou left a wife and two little boys, 7 and 9, behind…..but something else he left behind cemented in my mind the power behind this vision that started years before. Lou had a fellow Team member film a video of him that was to be sent to his wife and boys IF he was killed in action. August 6, 2011, marked that day. At Lou’s funeral, his wife played the video messages for all to see and there was not a dry eye in the place.
Finally, on August 26, 2021, our whole nation watched in horror as 12 Marines and 1 Navy Corpsman were killed in Afghanistan and their loved ones would be left in shock with no chance to say goodbye. I then knew this vision had to move forward.
This vision cannot and will not stop brave men and women from being killed while serving in hostile theaters, but there is something it can do. This vision will produce an Archival Video Technology Platform that will enable all who serve to produce a video, or multiple videos for those closest to them, and archive them in a secure storage facility to be disbursed on specific dates in the future so their voices, personalities, words, and legacies will live in the hearts and minds of those left behind.
It is my privilege to team with some incredibly special people including my co-founders Devon Blake and James Donley. Devon is incredibly bright and retired as a post brigade command Colonel after 24 years active duty. James Donley is an exceptionally talented designer, software engineer and musician. Both of my friends live and breathe love for those who serve this great nation. With the addition of some other key folks, this vision is on its way to reality. Everyone who loves our military will get a chance to “help” through a Crowdsource Funding Event entitled, “Preserving a Legacy!” So many of our great citizens will become vital team members in securing this vision.
Thank you SO VERY MUCH!