Josh Hoffman grew up in Wayland, Michigan and joined the Marine Reserves in 2002, hoping to earn money for college to become a pilot. In 2006, he was sent to the Anbar Provence in Fallujah, Iraq. In 2007, Corporal Hoffman was hit by a sniper’s bullet as he chased a suspected terrorist. The bullet entered his neck and exited his shoulder blade, shattering his upper spine and leaving him a quadriplegic.
Josh spent the next 20 months away from his home, his friends, and his family in treatment and recovery. He has had pneumonia multiple times, urinary tract infections, and complete kidney failure. He almost died two times in the hospital from a spiked fever of 108 and nearly chocked to death when he got mucous stuck in his throat. He has years of physical rehabilitation and therapy ahead of him, and faces a constant battle to regain movement in his upper body and develop his language skills.
Through all of these challenges, however, Josh has kept an amazingly positive attitude and yearned to give back to his brothers and sisters in arms. Inspired by Ranger Up’s “Freedom Isn’t Free” T-shirt that he was given as a gift, Josh decided he wanted to design and sell a shirt. Enter Michael Hyacinthe, founder of Fashion has Heart. Michael and his team spent over 60 hours with Josh designing the image on the front of the shirt. The image shows the Soldier’s Memorial weapon, boots, and helmet imagery along with “Total Sacrifice” spelled out in the code Josh uses to communicate.
Once the image was in hand, Michael reached out to Mika Casey of MMA Warehouse, a strong troop supporter, for advice on how to get the garment to market. Mika introduced us and we offered to help finalize and print the shirt. With Josh’s approval and feedback, we developed the back, color scheme, and layout of the shirt featuring the quote “The Nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.”
The proceeds from this shirt go to Josh and to Fashion has Heart to aid with providing future wounded soldiers this creative outlet to help in their recuperation.