Most of you might assume I was born into patch royalty, or that I was bioengineered in some sort of top-secret lab in East St. Louis. My story, however, is actually far stranger than that. It actually begins at a rainy Grateful Dead concert in 1973. That night would later be known as "Pudorem Nox Mortuus" which roughly translates to "The night modesty died". Hold onto your butts, it's about to get weird.
Ok, so none of that is true, but I got your attention and in this era of Instagram models and Candy Crush that's pretty good. My story is actually similar to everyone else's. Over the next four and a half hours (or five minutes if you read at a 3rd-grade level) I'm going to talk about a few of my favorite patches, how I started collecting them, and why I think Allison Brie should respond to my marriage proposals.
The first few patches I acquired as a child were patches I found that belonged to my Dad, which I then took or patches of BMX companies. The one I remember most was an embroidered patch that simply said: "Kiss this patch". I have no idea what happened to that patch, it's probably with my retainer and Ozzy Osbourne tapes at my parent's house.
I didn't really collect any patches from then until my first deployment in 2006. I was working with the Border Patrol doing surveillance in Southern Arizona when I acquired a velcro backed Border Patrol patch. I stuck that bad boy on my Camelbak which is where it lived through my next 4 years in the military.
In 2009 on my second deployment to Afghanistan is where I was introduced to morale patches. I'd always swapped patches with units I worked with in the AOR but had never purchased one. There was a lady on base that sold, what I now realize are terribly embroidered morale patches. I don't remember what I paid for the one below, but it was definitely too much.
Throughout the next handful of deployments, College, and joining the Fire Department I ended up with about 30 patches. Then in 2016, I was introduced to this Morale Patch company a few doors down from the photographer I was working for called Violent Little Machine Shop. They had a job opening so I walked down there to introduce myself and drop off my resume (Full disclosure, my resume was a picture of Bruce Jenner from the Olympics but I never gave it to Yanne). I didn't get the job that time around (I blame Obama), but a year later I found myself as the warehouse manager at VLMS. The patches were always cool online, but packing them all day every day really makes you want them. I started to collect a few of my favorites and eventually got to try my hand at designing them.
My first patch project was the "I'm Gonna Burn This Mother Down" Morale Patch inspired by my love of Office Space and Fire, this first one seemed like a no-brainer. I followed that patch up with a few other patches inspired by my favorite movies, such as the Mutt Cutts Morale Patch.
It's been a year since my first patch drop, and I've created more patches than I can even remember right now. The good news for you, I'm not stopping any time soon. You can continue to look forward to my slightly askew sense of humor and progressively offensive patches. Because if your patch doesn't start a conversation what's it even there for?