When I decided I would create this magazine, I knew there would be days when I didn’t feel enthusiastic about completing this task that I’d taken on. There were going to be plenty of long nights, early mornings and entire days devoted to making this become a reality. Yet, I didn’t have
any physical or mental disadvantages that would keep from completing this even if I wanted to. Enter Noah Currier, a Marine Corps veteran whose work ethic and level of determination is genuinely inspiring. If Noah could build a clothing company and partnering foundation from his
wheelchair, finishing this magazine was the least I could do.
Noah’s story is pretty straight- forward up until 2003, after returning from active duty deployment in Iraq; Noah was permanently injured in a car accident returning to his base. For most of us, that would have been end of the story – to survive a war zone only to come home and sustain a
life altering injury. Fortunately, for Noah and countless others that was not the end of the story. His journey back wasn’t easy and frankly, it’s not over…
PM: Tell me the story behind Oscar Mike?
Noah: Oscar mike is radio jargon; it’s a term we used over in Iraq during the invasion. That just means on the move. So we wanted to start a foundation to help disabled veterans get on the move, Oscar Mike was the perfect way to name it. It was about 3 years ago right now (2011), we were sitting at the national veteran wheelchair games talking about how amazing adaptive sports were
for long time recovery for disabled veterans. Then we talked about how expensive it was to get to
adaptive sports. Someone like me I’m a quadriplegic, I’m paralyzed for the neck down and I need to bring a caregiver with me. So the expenses really add up, flights, hotel rooms, food for two people - paying for a caregiver. So we thought it would be cool if there were a foundation to help offset those costs and expenses. Then a discussion started in the lobby of this hotel about what we could do.
I’d done a fund-raiser after I got hurt with a marine buddy of mine… we wanted to go to this other physical therapy out in San Diego, which was pretty advanced and expensive. We created a t-shirt, back in 2004, which said, “He who sheds blood with me, shall forever be my brother.” And we sold then in our hometowns and raised money that way to make it to physical therapy. Fast forward to the wheelchair games a few years ago, I brought up the idea about the fund-raiser where we sold a t-shirt with the Marine Corps emblem. I said, what if we did it for all
branches of the service - because no one wanted to go around asking for hands out.
Also when we applied for non-profit status back in 2011, our attorneys told us it could take up to 2 years due to the
backlog of applications for 501C3’s. We already know how we wanted to do it - using the t-shirts, if that’s the angle we want to take, we can form an llc at the same time and keep ourselves busy with the business and donate funds until we have the foundation. But we can still accomplish our mission with the business in the meantime. They developed at the same time, the business and the foundation.
Now we are about to celebrate our 3 year anniversary this year on Veteran’s Day and our first year and a half we spent in my garage, growing it that way. Until we couldn’t fit things in the garage, we found a cool warehouse and office space out in the middle of nowhere. We got a good deal on it, now we have Oscar mike headquarters. It’s about 5000 square feet, office and warehouse area and then another 2000 sq. ft. warehouse attached to it.
PM: Talk to me about the adaptive sports piece...
Noah: Adaptive sports. It took me a few years to get involved anything, because I had a hard time accepting my injury. Going from the best physical shape of my life to being a quadriplegic, I didn’t want to get involved in wheelchair sports because I didn’t see myself as a wheelchair user. It’s not like I was born that way. I was injected into that after my accident. It took me years, finally a buddy of mine who’d been harassing me to go out to Colorado to go skiing with him talked me into it. We
went to the DAV winters sports clinic and I was skiing in Snowmass Colorado, It changed my life.
I found something that had that adrenaline piece that I’d been missing so long and a way to push myself and do something exhilarating. After that, I started going to all sorts of adaptive sports events, each one was like the next step to the next one. Before you knew it, I was back in college, doing things I didn’t think I would do. Adaptive sports was really the catalyst. After attending the events, I
would ask people what they thought and they would say “it saved their lives”
Noah Currier, Founder of Oscar Mike Clothing & Oscar Mike Foundation