Hi gang, I hope you've enjoyed the last couple of issues. It seems to be taking me a bit longer than I expected to get into the groove again-must be getting old-but things are beginning to tighten up, and I promise ya a ton of cool features and usable hands-on tech in the future.

I recently had the opportunity to hit the SEMA Show again and had a chance to spend some time with a lot of the brains and brawn behind our aftermarket. Speaking of, you've more than likely noticed that I often talk about the "aftermarket" with a fair amount of endearment. Some chalk it up to rubbin' cheeks with advertisers, and I'd be less than genuine if I were to refute that fact-but I also hold these folks near and dear because without 'em it'd be near impossible to get our "babies" to the point we want 'em anywhere near where our time and budget restraints allow.

Above and beyond checking out the latest and greatest parts and accessories showcased at SEMA, I was able to meet and spend some time with a group of folks from LMC Truck. It was really interesting talking about classic trucks and truck parts with true enthusiasts, but one of the most exciting things they brought to my attention during our visit regarded an organization they've recently aligned themselves with. The organization is called HeroBox (www.herobox.org). HeroBox is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides custom support to our soldiers overseas. Their mission is to provide items that deployed American soldiers need and want while they are away from home defending our freedom. HeroBox engages America's greatest resource, its people, to support our Heroes through a variety of programs and initiatives. Whether you want to Adopt a Soldier, Host a HeroDay, or make a donation, HeroBox offers numerous opportunities for all of us to get involved.

So what is a HeroBox?

A HeroBox is a care package that has been customized to a soldier's specific request. The troops have certain needs and wants depending on their sex, location, and a variety of other factors. The typical care package that a soldier receives isn't always influenced by those needs and wants so HeroBox.org's goal is to make sure that each HeroBox is directly influenced by the soldier. HeroBox started as a family's simple effort of supporting their hero, Specialist Evan Housley, a son, brother, and husband deployed to Iraq in late 2007. As they began to send him care packages, they immediately realized the need for a more customized solution that met particular soldier's specific needs and wants. It was with this in mind that founder Ryan Housley launched a simple web page (HeroBox 1.0) in May 2008 to field special requests from his brother and other soldiers. As word spread, the demand soon outweighed the supply and the little web page soon became a non-profit organization. In October 2008, Ryan left his corporate career to pursue HeroBox full time. HeroBox incorporated in December 2008 and became a 501(c)(3) public charity in May 2009.

As it stands, HeroBox is one of the coolest support networks for our soldiers that I've been exposed to and one additional factor that kind of drew me to this particular cause (especially as a classic truck lover) is the way the organization has come up with to promote said cause-Project 59, a Tribute to American Heroes. Project 59 is the restoration of a '59 Ford F-100 stepside truck built totally in honor of the American heroes who put their lives on the line for you and me every day. The goal of Project 59 is to restore this truck to its original glory in an effort to promote the HeroBox mission at car and truck shows around the country.

The bottom line is this: I'd really love it if every one of you would take a minute of your time and join forces with me, and HeroBox sponsor's LMC Truck, Dakota Digital, Summit Racing Equipment, Mallory Ignition, Embrey's Customotive, and Airco Sandblasting (to name but a few) by logging on to www.herobox.org to get more info and hopefully join us in honoring the heroes who keep us safe while we enjoy the opportunity and freedom to play with our classic trucks. Oh yeah, and a special thanks goes out to our friend Susan Berkowitz of LMC Truck for bringing HeroBox.org to our attention.