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Last post 2 months ago by RiverRatRuss. 12 replies replies.
This is Why I Do What I Do..
usahog Offline
#1 Posted:
Joined: 12-06-1999
Posts: 22,691
I Love to hear Feedback from my Customers (good or bad)

So far "I Thank God" All who've replied back have been very pleased with their products...

(Recent Customer Cherry wood, with Cherry Stain)

Mr. Walls - I just want to let you know that the case you made for my nephew is beautiful. I wish I could see his face when he gets it but unfortunately I am mailing it out to him. I am not sure if I told you this or not but a flag was flown at the Nations Capital on the day our nephew was presented his Eagle Scout Badge. The case we ordered was to showcase that flag, the certificate and his Eagle Scout Badge - the flag and certificate are in it and I know he will put his badge in as soon as the case gets to him. This is something that he will treasure for ever - thank you for the beautiful job you did on the case.

Ms. D. (edited)

I started building Flag Cases in my back yard in 1996 as a hobby.. I came home with my unit from our first OSW (Operation Southern Watch) SWA (South West Asia) and no one could find a flag case to fit a 3x5 flag at that time the internet was fairly new as well and not allot out there for this size.. So I drug out my portable table saw (craftsman 10") and my compound miter saw (delta 10") my speed square, pencil, tape measure etc.. and I got my first lumber off my brother, who at the time was tearing down barns (barn wood "rafters and beams" I took this lumber to the local High School and milled it down myself on their tools... to working stock 3/4"... from there I took it home and used tha above tools in my back yard to produce my first 3x5 flag cases along with matching picture frames (from the same stock wood)

So I took it out and showed the guy's at my work.. next thing I know I'm getting orders, most everyone who deployed that first deployment had the same problem as myself, couldn't find a case to house their flags..

We deploy again in 1997 same OSW...

This time before our return home an officer walks up and hands me a list they put up on the Operations Counter of folks who want flag cases.. I'm like WTH?

So when I got home once again I dug out my portable power tools etc.. and this time I had my first ex wife B!tchin me out because I had flag cases and frames drying from poly and stain all over the kitchen table, bar and washer and dryer... (she didn't mind spending the extra cash coming in though, go figure?) 3 months later she wants me out? she's found another man on the internet and wants a divorce.. So I took my carpenter tools, cloths and what I could pack and moved out...

lived with mom for a few months then my cousin has a house that needs remodeling, so he cuts me a deal on rent... his garage at this place was a 30x30 (Nice) So while battling in court on divorce (3 kids) Child support etc.. I'm bidding and picking up "roofing jobs" off records ;0) Child support based on $43K a year.. then oldest daughter moves in with me, because wierdo the ex found off the internet made a pass on my kid... I did not know this until 5 yrs later or I'd be doing time in a honky tonk...

in the meantime.. I'm filling this 30x30 garage with real woodworking tools...(feeling like Tim the Toolman Taylor) I'm bidding and knocking out Roofs for folks sometimes two a month.. hiring guy's who I worked with full time (some are lazy bastages and they only helped out once)

1999 Deployment OSW SWA once again.. only this time Manditory Anthrax Vaccines (who woulda thought our own Government would experiment on the troops?) Not me I was a Gung Ho Weapons System Specialist on F-16's, a Number one man on a 3 man crew and a part of the Loading Standardization Crew "LSC" (Load Crew Trainers) best of the best with 11 of total 14 excellent preformance appraisals under my belt...

Once again I was handed a list for flag cases/certificate frames to do up for allot of folks once we returned home... (this time I'm ready Har Har Har... 10" Delta Contractors Table Saw (still my workhorse today in the shop) 6" x 48" Delta Jointer (ditto) and a 12 1/2" Jet Portable Planer along with the trusty old Delta Compound Miter saw (who's seen better days today "Worn Out")...Good for Siding and rough construction...

early 2000... I'm noticing I can't function like I used to? did a walk-in closet for my grandma, during this time I lost my grip on hammer etc. tearing out old to add new.. so I'm making stupid trips to the doctor.. something I never did before in the past? and Tired all the time? sleeping weired hours and aching all over??

2001, I've built my credit back up to a 767 level after the previous divorce.. "High Rolling" own my own Harley, 1988 Lincoln Town Car (Pimp Mobile) So I go see about buying a home... Guess What? I put a bid in on this dump I own now, and the seller took the first bid... So April 2001 I'm a Home Owner... my first home I own... Title says Single Man/Unmarried...

I Bought it for 4 reasons...
1. to see if I could do it?
2. because it was closer to my mother, who I was always running across town to fix one thing that lead to another and I didn't have those tools with me to fix that other.
3. because I likes the Garage and yard space.

4. basement had two rooms finished, which one at one time I turned into my walk in Humidor..

June 2001, My Dad passed away.. he never got to see what I'd been doing for myself...

Sept. 11, 2001.. **** hit the fan, our unit was tasked with "Nobile Eagle" we worked for the first 32 hrs non stop.. in 12 hrs we had 16 of 18 fighter jets converted from training to live loads protecting America's Sky's and Airports... first time in my life I'd ever seen live loads (fighter Aircraft loaded with live munitions) on a civilian populated ramp... America Wasn't Ready, but We Were... 12 hr shifts, who could sleep? 3 months later our turn.. OSW/OEF.. I wouldn't miss it for the world! did a few TDY's to train other units LSC's on new firepower for the F-16 on this Mission...

October 2001 Met, soon to be divorced, next wife Former Mrs. Usahog.. met her in person in January 2002, sent her home without even a kiss.. (she wasn't divorced yet and me "Homey, doesn't play those games") she got her divorce in late Feb. we were married on March 11, 2002.. I handed her the keys to everything and deployed for OEF March 12, 2002... I gave her my full Trust and I didn't really even know her.. (thing is, I still don't to this day?)

While deployed, I sold my Harley, Bought a brand new 2002 Ford Pick-Up,(all I ever wanted was just a pick-up truck to do my work with) was spending all the money I had in the bank accounts? and borrowing money for the bills? (I'm a little slow folks, this took me 5 yrs to catch up ok!)

9 days prior to coming home, I slipped my back out.. (hurt like a SOB.. I didn't say **** to anyone, because I seen a guy in 96 who had a sun stroke, he was shipped all over the world and we beat him home from that deployment by a month and a half... So I self medicated (adapted and overcame the situation) until I could get home with my unit, and see my new Bride... two days later I'm in the ER getting a check-up on problems I'm having.. (cat scan/ medicine and out the door... So I go back to my unit and report it, because they want you to out-process the day you step off the plane... So they tell me they'll toss my folder (Medical) on the shelf and I can in-process when I'm better.. (stupid me) didn't have a clue about a "line of duty" paperwork they were actually suppose to fill out and file.. So a couple weeks later I'm feeling better and ready to get back to work. back is still fubar, but I didn't want to be assigned to a different unit, and I had to out process. (for those of you who have problems like above? DON'T EVER SIGN BACK IN!) By Law they have to keep you assigned and taken care of (Especially if you are Army/AirForce Reserve or Guard) My Advice, Don't Sign ****! and ask for copies of everything.."Twice" (Your Constitutional Right)

2003.. Still medical problems, Tri-Cares rejecting claims.. medical bills piling up.. new wife wouldn't go to work? So I go into the chain of command to find out why my medicals are not getting paid? Seems they lost my "Line of Duty" Paperwork? So a week later I'm pulled into a room by commanders I had deployed with.. Lt. Col's no doubt, and I'm told to drop this issue, it is not going any further then that door... "Is That Right?" Well I'm sorry Sir` I have family to feed and this is coming off the top and with all do respect col. I think your out of line. So Sir` I'll be going up through my chain of command to get answers... I got them alright... "Lawyers, Guns and Money" the **** hit the fan...

2004, I was discharged with Honorable. 18.5 yrs service (law says after 18 you are grey area for 20?) I was Medical Disability Annuity on the Federal Side of life (Civilian Employee) Denied Service Connected Disability from the Military? and All my Federal Attorney's paperwork and any paperwork I was forced to sign without my attorney was processed.. so here I sit with a 40% disability to make all my bills each month and still enjoy my cigars and life...

It's because God gave me the ability to do the things I do... and I'll let no one but God take that ability away from me!

My Medical Doctors told me to stay active... my Rhumatologist told me with my RA factor I should be in a wheelchair ( I can't say on this forum, what I said back to him)
Last Doctor I went an seen (former wife) was with me.. and he looked at us both like we were nutts? did my bloodwork and a week or two later HE sends me a prescription in the mail for RA medicine.. (Screw Him) you can TeeDub!

I Take Herbs and by the Grace of God I function everyday 12-15 hrs a day now.. to do what I do..

I'm learning (self teaching) the office part of this job... and I know the shop and tools inside and out ;0)

my communication skills suck.. because if I'm answering the phone to a customer, that means I'm not working on someone's order... (so basically my "customer service" is hurting... but the above email tonight, and many more like them are what keeps me driving on)...

I'm tired folks... I've never been a quiter at anything I've ever done in my life... but if for one second my future ex wife is going to claim half owner in this business, and sit on her a$$ to collect anything from me, including a future military pension that I do not even have? I'll fold it up and become a bumb with a sign on my knee!

I've had to hire a drunk, who was a damn good worker when he would show up?

and then I went to a 15 yr old kid who's heart was on the pay check and I was fixing more mistakes then what I could get out to the customers in a week?

So now again it's back to a one man show and so far this week I've shipped 7 hand made orders with 3 more leaving by Friday.. and then the office work...

Thank God I still have 10 fingers!

I've been accused of being drunk and posting.. no it's tired and posting...

Customers don't understand "hand made is, Hand Made" they all want walmart, get it now/today... well you processed my credit card on such and such a date! Yes Ma'am, Sir` I did, but if I processed it for a "Hold" it would cost 4.6% more, would you like to pay that % difference?

I give a 10% discount for our Deployed Military Troops... I can tell they are deployed by their IP address upon ordering! always says: Iraq, Afghan or Centaf...

I ask customers if ordering a burial display if this is for a recent fallen soldier? if it is I give a 30% off.. my cost in production.. I feel it is the least I can do for our Brothers in Arms!

While America Sleeps they Protect Us!

I've got a Veterans Link on my website... this is free information for "Informed Consent" to the Anthrax/Smallpox Vaccine and Also Veterans issues across the board...

I'll never shut my mouth, you'll have to be man enough to shut it for me ;0) (First Amendment)

for now it's bed time... to be continued:

RandyB Offline
#2 Posted:
Joined: 01-10-2008
Posts: 2,878
Very nice Hog.

Keep up the good work and your longwinded ramblings. LOL!!!

TrannyMk Offline
#3 Posted:
Joined: 12-12-2004
Posts: 3,559
Hey Hog.

Sorry you've had to go through so many hard times. I'll say a prayer & send positive thoughts your way. Keep up the good work. This country needs more guys like you.

big chief Offline
#4 Posted:
Joined: 02-05-2008
Posts: 10,378
Big Chief and all Seminal Indians offer 'thanks' to you and all braves and squaws at home and overseas for their sacrifice.
Duarb Offline
#5 Posted:
Joined: 02-19-2007
Posts: 72

Need an addy for you. Am interested in one of these. Son-in-law just returned from Iraq. He flew a flag over there for my Dad who passed away last May. This is just the kind of display that my Mom and I are looking for.

My addy is: [email protected]

BuckyB93 Offline
#6 Posted:
Joined: 07-16-2004
Posts: 12,819
Here's his site.
jim2000man Offline
#7 Posted:
Joined: 01-21-2004
Posts: 140
Hog thank god this world is still has a few people like you who have the balls to stand up fight the right fight because of the principle, instead of laying down for convenience. I believe if more of us had youre guts the world would be a better place, thank you for youre service to our country and families.

Duarb Offline
#8 Posted:
Joined: 02-19-2007
Posts: 72

Thanks for the info.

CWFoster Offline
#9 Posted:
Joined: 12-12-2003
Posts: 5,414
WOW Russ! I didn't know things didn't work out between you and Mrs Hog! Sorry to hear about the further difficulties. Email me!
BuckyB93 Offline
#10 Posted:
Joined: 07-16-2004
Posts: 12,819
Re 8

My pleasure. Russ is a good doobie and takes pride in his work big time. I wouldn't hesitate to support his business. I've never had him make me anything bur if I had a need for a special display case, he's be my first stop.
maddman Offline
#11 Posted:
Joined: 07-03-2005
Posts: 2,677
Blessings to you for putting your heart into the good work you do....keep it going things are looking up!
RiverRatRuss Offline
#12 Posted:
Joined: 09-02-2022
Posts: 339
Yep it's Me and this was Me back in the Day!!!

I owe some of you FOGS and whatever Management is left here at CBid an Apology for my actions back in these Dark Days... I'm not going into details many of you will recall... It's nice to be able to see old Faces/Posters again and speaking with Robert this morning was Awesome!!

I shut my business down cold turkey in 2017 when my mom passed from Cancer and a few months later my oldest brother was killed in a car accident and to top it off, one of my best friends and co-worker was diagnosed with Terminal Cancer and I ended up trying to carry the business on my own and was overwhelmed... I again went into a dark period in my life and just lived off my retirement and odd jobs surviving!!

I've got many of the Old FOGS on my Facebook and we keep in touch there. Sorry to hear Rickmaven passed and Wheels as well. Robert mentioned another BOTL I couldn't remeber? JJ (Jimbo) also passed a few years ago as well.. We're not promised tomorrow folks!!!

for now, I am working on getting my shop doors back open and pressing on with what I did/do...

God Bless Ya'll...
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