American-Made What this means for a veteran's funeral

Made in the USA. American-made. Made in China. What does it mean to you? What does it mean to your business? What does it mean to your customers? And how is it impacting buying decisions?

Like most topics today, many of us have a very strong opinion regarding this topic. Some people firmly believe "American-made" means American jobs, and they base their buying decision solely on the origin of the manufactured product. Others are more concerned with price and are less concerned with where the product was manufactured. Competitive pricing is their motivation. I call this the Walmart effect. 

Every product manufactured by SpartaCraft uses 100% domestically sourced, sustainable materials and is manufactured in North Carolina. While this information may not be important to the average consumer, it is extremely important to the United States military and it led them to name SpartaCraft the federally approved supplier of military burial products to all branches of the United States military throughout the world.

Like many products and services funeral homes offer to their customers, I am certain that quality, pricing and the wishes of the deceased all play a part in the decision- making process. Without having advanced funeral preparations or the wishes of the deceased communicated with the family, the family is left to make decisions on their own. So how can funeral homes help?

If you are unaware of the teachings of Jim Rudolph from Veterans Funeral Care, then please let me give you a quick overview. Jim’s company (and I believe his mission) is to help funeral homes become the “go-to-funeral home for veterans” in their communities. His VFC Provider Network trains and certifies funeral homes to be better prepared to service veterans and their families – with a very specific focus on recognizing and honoring the veteran’s service. Jim’s program is not only touching, but also very important when helping the family of a veteran. Many times, even the closest family member is not fully aware of the medals and decorations associated with their veteran’s service, or the funeral services provided by the U.S. military, and the wishes of the deceased.

Without pulling us into a political divide over American- made versus made overseas, I want to turn the focus from where to who. While funerals are viewed by many as a way for families to deal with their loss, I would challenge the funeral home to take a different look at the products and services provided to focus equally on the wishes of the deceased.

But, Mike, how can we assume what a U.S. veteran’s wishes were?

While an American-made product may not be important to the average consumer, it is extremely important to the United States military. Those who serve in the U.S. military dedicated their lives or a portion of it to protect the United States. And while U.S. veterans may be perfectly content buying products made in foreign lands, it stands to reason that products used to honor the veterans should be made in the land they served and protected. 

I would go as far as to say there may only be one product in the entire world that most definitely needs to adorn the "Made in the USA" emblem, and that is a flag case and/or urn for a U.S. veteran.

If given the opportunity to ask a veteran which product they prefer, I am betting a veteran would have looked you in the eye and responded with “I want American-made.” In fact, I am betting my career on it.

This message was originally published in the Summer 2022 issue of The Independent® magazineClick here to read the entire issue.

SpartaCraft has been building military flag cases since 1984 and is considered to be America’s original flag case company. We take great pride in serving our veterans and their families. Each and every employee takes great pride in our work because we provide American-made for American heroes.

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