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Vodka, Veterans, and Giving Back

What do the Marine Corp and Heroes Vodka have in common? They were both founded in a bar.

Meet Travis McVey, a military Veteran turned entrepreneur with ambitions to make a difference in the lives of U.S. military Veterans. “Ronald Reagan said some people live an entire lifetime wondering if they have ever made a difference in the world and Marines don’t have that problem,” he says. Inspired and wanting to stay out of trouble in his small town in Indiana, Travis enlisted in the military at 16 and joined the Marines at the age of 18. 

Travis was afforded opportunities to serve all over, including the White House. It was in Washington D.C. where he formed friendships that felt like brotherhood. He met his two best friends - Richard Gaston and Thomas ‘Tom’ Rabjohn while serving a two year term at the White House. Travis didn’t realize that the brotherhood that he formed with both Richard and Tom would be cut short. Within a few years of meeting, both Richard and Tom died tragically in the line of duty, leaving behind small children and loved ones. 

After Travis retired from the military, he allowed his entrepreneurial spirit, combined with a late night at his local VFW, to take the lead. Tired of seeing minimal efforts given to take care of our soldiers, he began thinking of ways he could give back to service members. 

“My brand is about celebrating the freedom and good things life has to offer. I have a sad story [like many service members], but great things can happen through tragedy, sometimes. We hear a lot about Veterans commonly being diagnosed with PTSD, almost as if we’re broken goods - but what you don’t hear a lot about is that you also experience post-traumatic growth. I wanted to create something that is ours.” 

With months of research and many taste testings, Travis landed on the perfect distilled vodka. Certified by the National Veteran Owned Business Association, Heroes Vodka gives back a minimum of 10% of their profits to charities like Team RWB (Red, White & Blue) and American Freedom Fund. To date, Heroes Vodka’s donations amount to over $100,000 to charity. 

Travis has a clear understanding that freedom comes at an overlooked price. 

“A part of being a Veteran is being able to carry on the memories of the ones we’ve lost,” he says. Travis believes his biggest impact as a Veteran is to share his experiences with future generations so they can have the opportunity to learn and grow. Through Heroes Vodka, Travis is not only able to honor his friends, but he’s able to celebrate their lives and serve his fellow service members that go above and beyond the call of duty.