FEATURES - October 22nd, 2021
The last Monday in May is unlike any other Monday of the year. In 2017, the last Monday in May falls on May 29th. Some of us know this as the unofficial start of summer. All of us know this as something more, Memorial Day.
This May we sat down with two distinguished veterans of the United States Army. It was an opportunity to hear their story about starting a small business in life after the Army. These men represent many other veterans who have chosen a laser machine to grow their careers. Boss Laser is proud every day to do business with veterans and active duty military personnel.
Our story takes us back three years ago when Cameron Cranston retired after 34 years of service in the United States Army and Florida National Guard. An incredible career was ending and simultaneously beginning a new chapter. This new story to tell would begin with Matt Williams. Matt joined the Army in 2006 and subsequently spent a year deployed in Afghanistan before medically retiring in 2012. Matt was also involved with the Florida National Guard where he met Cameron. This led to their eventual partnership in starting Tactical Etching.
“The idea behind Tactical Etching was to provide a service to military, law enforcement, first responders or anyone else that was looking for personalized tactical equipment,” explains Matt. So, in April of 2014 Cameron and Matt purchased a Boss Laser LS-1620. “The work began with a custom heart made of handcuffs for a local deputy sheriff and has gone as far as cutting basketballs in half,” he added.
Today, Tactical Etching gains a lot of business from laser engraved stainless steel cups, recognition plaques, firearms personalization, community relation projects and all sorts of other custom work. “One thing that sets us apart is our willingness to try anything. We take on the projects that other guys don’t,” Cameron told us. “Whether it’s odd requests or impossible deadlines, we embrace each challenge.”
However, things are not always easy. “Owning a small business has new obstacles every day,” Cameron told us. “But in the Army we had a phrase when faced with tough situations: ‘Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.’ Our experience in the military gave us the determination and willingness to put in the hard work and long hours that it takes to succeed.”
Another area where their military background has helped Tactical Etching is in networking. “Us Army guys are a tight knit group,” Matt said. “A lot of our orders have come from word of mouth. That’s a great feeling when customers recommend your products to their friends. I cannot think of a better compliment.”
What does the future hold for Tactical Etching? “We want to expand more into firearms. Adding a fiber laser system will greatly improve our ability to customize and engrave these products,” Cameron shared. “We also would like to improve our social media presence. Learning to understand what becomes popular is a continual struggle.”
In the meantime, the Boss Laser team and these two Army veterans will be recognizing the start of summer this Memorial Day by remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice.