ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Simply buying a pair of shoes can be a huge help to Medal of Honor Recipients and their families — all thanks to a new company launching in Rochester, which is partnering with the Congressional Medal of Honor society.
The highest award any military member can receive is the Medal of Honor, but outside the spotlight, they must carry the burden of war while paying for themselves to make trips and appearances across the country. So, RDC Shoes wants to offer them support.
As a former Marine, Darren Davis had the privilege to meet numerous Medal of Honor Recipients over the years. He learned after their ceremonies at the White House, even though the publicity goes away, their need for counseling and financial help stays.
“Everyone thinks it’s glamorous because you get a medal and all but it’s such a burden for these guys,” Davis explained. “Not only that, they have to go and fly everywhere and everyone wants to be around them because they’re like rock stars. However, they have to pay for a lot of the stuff they do. That’s why we want to help out as much as possible.”
Inspired by the country’s unity after 9/11, Darren’s wife Rogina designed these American flag-themed shoes. $10 of each sale goes toward the effort, helping families of recipients as well.
“The widows what happens is after they’re memorialized at the convention let’s say their medal of honor recipient passes away,” Davis said. “They have to pay to go every year. So, we’re trying to help them out also. Because it’s a big family, they become a big family.”
Inside each box, customers also receive a card explaining the life story of a Medal of Honor Recipient. They’ll also find a commemorative coin from the Woody Williams Foundation. Honoring the last WWII era medal of honor recipient to pass away.
“He actually has a thing called the next 99 years and we’re a part of that,” Davis continued. “So, we’re trying to help him raise funds to give back to gold star families and monuments so they can have their grieving process.”
The company plans to officially launch next month, but you can already pre-order shoes online.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican, Democrat, or whatever you are the American flag stands for the country,” David added. “It stands for freedom, and we have the right to have freedom. So that’s what this stands for.”
In October, Darren and his family plan to make in-person appearances at local malls to sell this merchandise while having a Medal of Honor Recipient appear with them to show what impact each sale makes.
The shoes go for $129 a pair. For links to the company website for more on their backstory or to make pre-orders, click here.