When Ohio Flame Inc. was started in 2009, it was with the help of President & CEO Matt Skillman's uncle who was a Vietnam Veteran. Dave Will was a decorated Veteran who loved his family and his country. There was nothing that he wouldn’t do to help family. Dave greatly assisted Matt's early endeavors by helping him make Fire Pits in his garage. Sadly, in 2011, the family discovered that he had cancer. Dave was always a strong warrior, and despite his prognosis, he continued to help Matt as long as he was physically able to. He ultimately taught him how to weld. Dave Will passed away on March 11, 2012 but he continues to mean so much to Matt and the business. His memory lives on as we named our Fire Pits “The Patriot” in his honor. We also continue to honor all of our brave US Veterans who serve selflessly to protect the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans.
This year, we wanted to start something that we could continue each year to recognize and honor a US Veteran that has made a difference in someone’s life. We created the Veterans Appreciation event and asked people to submit their Veteran’s story to us. This year, we received so many great and heartwarming stories, but it was one submission from Stephanie Eversole that really captured the essence of what Matt's uncle was all about.
Veterans Appreciation 2012 submission from Stephanie Eversole:
"My husband Eric had been active duty army for less than two months when he deployed to Iraq in 2003. He missed our infant daughter’s first Christmas (the first Christmas of our marriage, too!), and it was unbelievably hard for him and his whole family, but he made it back. Not all of his friends were so lucky. After his three years were up he decided to rejoin the civilian world, and we moved from Ft. Campbell back to Cincinnati. Needless to say, he didn’t join the military for the money, and starting over from scratch after three years was HARD, but he’s worked like crazy ever since. We don’t have money for everything, like vacations or car repairs or fire pits:), but Eric always makes sure that we have a roof over our heads and food on our table. It’s hard sometimes, especially with two kids, waiting for the next paycheck or promotion, but we look forward to the day when his hard work pays off. Every time I worry about the Christmas budget, I remind myself how lucky we are that Eric will be HOME for Christmas, and that there are still so many families who aren’t so lucky. Perspective can be a wonderful thing.
Thank you so much for this contest! Sometimes it really feels like people are forgetting about our veterans, and it makes me so sad and frustrated.”
Congratulations on your husband, Eric Eversole, being selected as one of the Veterans we will be honoring this year!