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What's New

Holiday Update 2021 / 2022

2021 has been a really strange year with a lot going on. That being said, our customer base has proved again to be amongst the best in the industry and continued to support us throughout the year. Slowly but surely we have been able to get some new products to market and January will see the return of our inhouse 1st, 2nd and 3rd model Poplin uniforms. These are 100% ours and after several years of searching for new fabric mills and sewing houses in the middle of the pandemic, we were able to hook up with a US GOVT contract sewing house based here in the Southern US. Sometimes it is worth the wait! We will be on vacation the last week of December (leaving on the 27th) and will be back in on January 2nd. The website will be working while we are gone, so please continue to place your orders and they will be packed and shipped in the order they were received. Thank you again for your patronage -- Trey MooreRead More

Shipping Updates Dec 2020

We have had a fairly steady uptick in orders this year with the Pandemic. It surprised me as we were expecting a drop in orders. We have been able to keep up with most of the demand and I would say 95% of all orders are still shipping within 24 hours of being placed. Others ship within 3 to 5 days as we are often waiting on restocks of products to come in. Fortunately it is rare that the wait is much longer. This isn't much comfort if you are the one or two people who have to wait a little longer, but at least this is not a common event. The biggest issue we are currently facing is the national / international issue with shipping. USPS is overwhelmed and some packages are going at the normal pace while other Priority Mail packages sit at distribution hubs for 2 weeks or more before moving. We recently had a package bound for Canada make a pitstop in Australia. Good news / bad news it isn't just us, it is nation wide. If you are pressed for time, or order something with higher value, UPS is by far more reliable right now.

Finally, please note that when checking out, the API calculator for rates / shipping times for USPS is provided by the US Postal Service. We cannot control what it says. When it says "Priority Mail 2 to 3 days" that is not a guarantee and in the best of times it is an estimate. RIght now it is guaranteed it will take longer. There is a reason that USPS Priority Mail at 2 days may be $12 and UPS 2nd Day is $46. One is getting there in 2 days and one isn't. I get emails all the time from people wanting their shipping money back because they did not get the package in the time it said for the US Postal Service. Again, these are estimates that the Postal Service is giving you and they are NOT backed by any kind of cash back guarantee like UPS puts on overnight and 2nd Day.

There is also a reasonable amount of time to ship an order. I also work a shift schedule of 24 hours on / 48 hours off so every third day I am not here. If you place an order on a day I am working at the fire dept, best case it will ship the next day. So in summary, don't place an order Monday afternoon, select Priority Mail "2 day service" at check out and then be upset that the package did not arrive on Wednesday. That just isn't reality right now.

International Shipping

Please be advised that International Shipping times may be quite long right now. We have decided to keep shippimg international orders, but we have had some Priority and Express shipments take excessive times while others have been normal. Please note that once shipping shows a package leaving Chicago, there are no further updates until the destination ciuntry updates USPS. That means that if there are not any updates, there is nothing we can check on this end. Some packages have been timely but we have had an Express and several Priority take up to two months. The Covid situation and increased shipping demands coupled with drastically reduced international flights has created a backlog. I know many vendors who have simply discontinued sales overseas at this time, but we feel that as long as the packages are still ultimately getting there and not being lost, we will continue to send them. We just ask that you be patient. I would also suggest Priority over 1st Class where feasible.

Inventory Update

We have ERDL Jungle Fatigues back instock in size LR. We also have JWD tigerstripes in Small, Medium and Large instock.

Inventory Updates

We have Tadpole Uniforms in size small back instock. We also have a limited amount of tadpole berets instock as well. On the insignia front, we were finally able to get Staff Sergeant (E-6) Subdued Sleeve Rank back instock. We also have the reproduction USMC Jungle 1st Aid Pouches on hand and ready to ship.

Inventory Update

A brief update on some inventory items. We have added some NOS M6 and M7 Bayonets to the page.

We also have added merrowed edge para-glide rounds and we have the cut edge, color 25th ID patches back instock (it has been a while). Both are available in the insignia section. We have some subdued staff sergeant sleeve rank on order and expect it to be back instock at the end of March.

On the uniform front, we have some exciting new items inbound. We went a little out of order on how we wanted to produce items as some hard to find / hard to make materials came our way through a joint venture with a friend. As a result, we have 3rd Pattern Ripstop, Ripstop ERDL, Tadpole Tigers and Boonies, and a very limited number of John Wayne Dense wrapping up. I have the listings active with sizes and prices, but I do not have photos up yet. I hope to have pictures up and be shipping by March 21st. If you order a uniform now, it will be around March 21st before I can ship.

We are still planning on making 1st, 2nd and 3rd model poplin jungle fatigues, but it is a really large project for those styles. I am hoping to arrange for the production this summer.

Thanks again to everyone for your patience and continued support! -- Trey

Fatigue Uniform Update

I apologize for not posting any updates in a while in regards to uniforms. I answer multiple phone calls and emails a day about it. We have been incredibly busy outside of the shop and due to a myriad of factors have not been able to get everything lined up for manufacturing. Sourcing new custom fabrics at a fair price has been difficult to say the least and after almost 20 years of the same pricing on fatigues, we will likely have to go up a little bit going forward. That being said, I do have a rough plan that I hope to stick to and I am excited about possibly trying some new products that we have not made before.

Phase I will be a small venture into some ripstop fatigues. I have a great source for some fabric and am looking at a small batch of ripstop 3rd pattern and ripstop ERDL. If things go well on this, I am hoping to have them in April / May. Phase II will likely be late summer but I am shooting to do a large run of poplin jungles to include 1st, 2nd and 3rd models. I will also try to get OG-107 fit into this time frame and also some tigers. We have done gold and tadpole in the past and I would like to do something different. Possibly JWD, but again not positive.

I appreciate everyone bearing with me and enjoy hearing from old customers. I assure you we are not closing down or stopping production. I know some people worry when they cannot get us on the phone, but I also work as a firefighter on a 24 / 48 schedule so I am out of the office completely 1 out of 3 days. The market has definitely shrunk some for Vietnam and vendor issues have plagued us for a while, but we are moving forward and will continue to do the best products that we can. Thanks again for being patient! -- Trey

Updates for What's New

I apologize for not often updating this page. We receive calls or emails on occasion asking if we are still open, etc. The best way to keep up with new item listings that we have is to look at the Newly Listed Page here on the site or to follow our Facebook page. Thank you - Trey Moore

Shipping Delays

Hurricane Harvey has hit Texas hard. We are safe and relatively dry, but due to our proximity to Houston we are experiencing shipping delays with UPS and USPS. Orders will continue to be processed and prepared for shipping, and we will send them out as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Colorful Mailbags of the Vietnam War

The Colorful Mailbags of the Vietnam War By Fielding S. Freed

Green, in a variety of shades, was the color of choice for the US Military during the Vietnam War. Green helmets, green helicopters, green cans of ham and lima beans, and of course green uniforms were all designed to blend in with the sometimes overwhelming jungle. There were some exceptions, however, to this rule of green. Purple smoke grenades and eye popping pink signal panels identified friend from foe from the air. There were times when bright colors could save a GI’s life. Mail, that all important link to home, also came in colors during Vietnam. Red, yellow, and orange mail bags were especially designed to stand out against all that green and make the mail easier to keep up with while in transit. It is not that the US Military and US Postal Service did not try to join forces and make delivering mail to front line troops green as well. A well-intentioned but failed experiment was the design of olive drab mail bags intended to be dropped from helicopters. They worked well, too well. It must have seemed completely predictable in hindsight, but during test drops the bags ended up blending in with bushes and grass and could not be found. It was decided that colorful mailbags were worth the camouflage risk if they got the mail delivered.

Many who served in Vietnam still recall those vivid mailbag colors. Jimmie Stephens (Tactical Operations Center, 1st Bde, 4th ID, 12/69-11/70) remembers, “Bags full of smiles, tears, laughter and sometimes heartbreak. Millions of bits of individual moments of reality ‘back in the World’ within those crimson and canary colored pouches.” Of those that made it out to the field, the most common mailbag color was red, really more of a magenta. If you look closely at color photographs taken during resupply or down times during the war you might be surprised at how often you see the telltale splash of the color of a mailbag. Sometimes Hollywood gets the small things right. When Forest Gump and Bubba are dropped off to their unit in Vietnam, a red mailbag gets tossed out right behind them. A detail most likely lost on all but the vets who were there.

One thing remains the same for generations of service men and women deployed overseas, mail was, and is, their tangible link to home. Even in our era of email and Skype, there is still something special and uplifting about a handwritten letter or care package. One of the many things that made the Vietnam experience unique was the way mail was delivered. There is little doubt that the sight of those colorful bags tossed out of a Huey must have caused some hearts to beat a little faster, hoping for a letter or package from the World.

### Image Captions: A US paratrooper from the 1st Air Cavalry, receives mail, while stationed in a blocking position north of the Michelin Plantation. Vietnam, 1969. | Location: north of Michelin Plantation, Vietnam. (Photo by © Tim Page/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Experimental, prototype olive drab mail pouch developed by the Postal Service for use in the jungles of Vietnam. Image courtesy of the Unites States Postal Service Museum

Heavily sandbagged post office operated by the Marine Corps during the siege of Khe Sanh. ©Corbis

Forty years after the end of the Vietnam War, the United States Navy still uses bright yellow mailbags. Image courtesy of the Unites States Postal Service Museum

Copyright 2016, Fielding S. Freed Contact: fieldingslayton@gmail.com Phone: 843-709-3120