Why AMPO USA Gives 1% Back to Helping Veterans

A personal story from our Founder, CEO — and Combat Veteran

4 min readDec 8, 2020

“We have no money for you for college. If you want to go, you’ll have to figure it out on your own.”

That’s what my father told me the summer I turned 14.

And it was a huge blow because, to me, college was my pathway to success.

I grew up in a tough neighborhood where everyone around me seemed to be struggling. It was a community riddled with crime, drugs, and violence.

But I wanted more. I wanted to build a better life for myself.

I thought about enlisting in the military, but realized that if I truly wanted to change my life, I needed to find a stable job — and a stable job required a degree.

College was my only ticket out, so I had to find a way.

I’ve played sports as long as I can remember, so my initial thought was to pursue a football scholarship. I began a workout routine, met with the coach, and worked my way to up starting quarterback.

As a result, I was picked up to play for a competitive program on the East Coast. I packed my bags and bought a one way plane ticket.

I was beaming— I had set an enormous goal for myself and succeeded. This was the biggest accomplishment of my life.

Unfortunately, I sustained an injury my freshman year that not only ended my football career, but put my athletic scholarship at risk. I felt like I had failed, but was determined not to let the circumstances stop me.

Military service had been in the back of my mind since 9/11, which impacted me profoundly. Someone I didn’t know wanted me to die, and was willing to go to great lengths to see that happen. I felt a deep sense of responsibility to fight back, protect, and serve.

Plus, if I was able to become an officer, I could stay in school and finish my degree.

So I joined the Army, and received an ROTC scholarship along the way.

When I finally commissioned, I was honored to wear the cloth of the nation. I was incredibly proud — both of myself, but of my country.

I also felt a great deal of responsibility at the prospect of being in charge of other soldiers’ lives.

When I landed in the Middle East in early 2011, my colonel greeted me grimly.

“Welcome to Afghanistan,” he said. “You’re leading a mission in 6 hours.”

While deployed, I served as a reconnaissance platoon leader, in the most active platoon in the most hostile region of operation. We instantly saw combat and that pace continued for eleven long months.

I saw how war changed people, and how it changed myself.

I learned the value of life, and how to treasure the small things. I learned to be present. I learned how far and how hard I was willing to go to survive. I learned what to do when my boundaries were tested, and how to push them beyond what I thought possible.

I also learned that there are people who have lived much harder lives than I had. I felt extremely fortunate to be an American, and was determined not to waste that gift I had been given.

When I got back to the states, I was promoted to Company Commander and given direct responsibility for 300 individuals. I was also put in charge of cleaning up the after effects of those who had deployments like mine — or worse — and were struggling to adapt.

A lot of soldiers returned home with mental health issues that went undiagnosed and untreated. That, combined with physical injuries, prescription painkillers, and unhealthy coping mechanisms created a vicious cycle that was a recipe for disaster.

I picked up and dropped off soldiers at the psychiatric ward several times per week. I was on a first name basis with many of the staff.

Others had severe drug addictions that spiraled out of control, many of which started from a dependency on military prescribed opioids.

Unfortunately, my unit was also plagued by suicide. Individuals who felt so broken by their experiences, that death seemed a better option.

It was horrible.

And on top of all of this, I saw dozens of delinquent soldiers chaptered out of the military, knowing it would be worse for them on the other side.

Knowing that without resources and without a support system, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for them to thrive.

I sustained a few injuries myself while I was deployed, and it taught me a lot about what I can and cannot do. It taught me the importance of having a community of people like myself that I can rely on during difficult times.

So when I started AMPO USA, I knew my #1 mission would be to help other veterans succeed.

Our company is rooted in servant leadership, and I’ve made it my life’s work to advocate and set the example for what veterans can achieve. We apply battlefield principles to our work, and operate with a sharp focus on reliability and accountability.

That’s also why we donate 1% of our profits to organizations helping veterans.

Every customer we support, in turn, supports the warfighter — which has a net positive impact on the veteran community as a whole.

Our goal is to be a corporate role model for integrity, doing what’s right, and ultimately, helping preserve the American way of life.

Learn more about AMPO USA, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and our mission to help veterans through corporate giving.




Mil Spec Packaging and Materials. Combat veteran owned and operated. 1% of profits donated to supporting veterans 🇺🇸