Who am I and what is A hellBox?
Well, My name is Terry but most folks know me on the forums as TbcSEOD
Or simply as "~T""
I Served in the US Armed forces from 1989
In 2007 I suffered a significant spinal injury in the line of duty and was placed on TDRL (Temporary Disability Retirement List) in hopes I would make a recovery that would allow me to remain on active service. Unfortunately that recovery was not complete enough to allow me to return to active service and I was officially retired with 21 years credited service on 10Nov2011 - the day before veterans day.
I have served all across the nation and been deployed around the world 7 times. In the early 90's I was stationed in Germany as a Field Artillery solider. In 1993 I became involved with the Boy Scouts Of America on the remote base I was serving at and became friends with the scout master who happened to be a EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) tech. After a brief talk with him I decided that was my calling and decided to change MOS (Military Occupational Skill - IE Job) and after quite a uphill battle I was accepted and went through the year long schooling. My class started with 35 and finished with 7 or maybe it was 8 (as I recall) - I was one of them and never forgot the pride I felt when they pinned my new EOD Badge on me for the 1st time.
Since then I have served in many different locations in many many different capacities ranging from Secret Service/Presidential support roles to lifting mines in BiH (Former Yugoslavia) but I have always been fascinated with firearms - its truly a passion I received from my father who I grew up with as my hero
He was a WWII veteran and was the strongest and bravest man I knew when I grew up - I'm not sure he ever knew that but either way I would like to say "Thank you Dad, Thank you for being my hero, my role model and the one I wanted to be like when I grew up".
After my retirement from service I spent most of the 1st year in physical rehab and going from one doctor to another, I fell in to a dark state of depression, my relationship with my daughter and family and friends dwindled into nothing. After about a year of that I started counseling for my injury and in short order my therapist and my eyes were opened to the fact that I was severely depressed and that part of the injury had been neglected. After A LOT of counseling I began to recover and moved back to Colorado where I had lived some 10 years earlier. In 2008 my final disability rating was established as 90% disabled. When I received this news I thought it was pretty reasonable, at least VA wasn't hanging me out to dry like so many other vets I have heard about. I still suffer chronic back pain and nerve damage in my hands and arms and often in my legs. I battle migraines constantly and still have to keep my depression in check, but I am here and I am alive - so I am still better off than some..
Early in 2008 I learned that my retirement/disability (Call it what you will, its basically one in the same in relation to my particular case) would not cover all my fanatical obligations. Being as how all I had ever really done in my life was fire rockets and blow up stuff I entered into the Vocational Rehabilitation Program and spent most of the year being tested and interviewed and processed and well you get the idea. Before the end of the year I was getting the clear picture that I would not be approved for any career field that I was remotely interest in, as I was not considered a "Good risk candidate" (due to my injuries).Early in 2008 I learned that my retirement/disability (Call it what you will, its basically one in the same in relation to my particular case) would not cover all my fanatical obligations. Being as how all I had ever really done in my life was fire rockets and blow up stuff I entered into the Vocational Rehabilitation Program and spent most of the year being tested and interviewed and processed and well you get the idea. Before the end of the year I was getting the clear picture that I would not be approved for any career field that I was remotely interest in, as I was not considered a "Good risk candidate" (due to my injuries).
During this period I had started kit building again (my 1st kit was back in the late 80's) I found the building was therapeutic in regards to my depression because it gave me a sense of "doing something" shortly after I noticed a slight improvement in the motor skills in my hands and fingers as well. As time went on I realized (regardless what my doctor was telling me) that working on kits WAS acting as a therapy for my physical injury as well. This lead me back into machine tooling (something I apprenticed at in High School and absolutely loved doing) Of course the VA said no way to my request to going back to peruse that carrier field as well. About this time I applied for two local jobs as money was getting real tight, first was a parts delivery driver for a national parts company, my interviews went well and I seemed to be the man for the job until it was disclosed that I had injured my back, conveniently my application was lost after that............... thee times. When I went in to fill out the fourth application I was told that the position wasn't available any longer - that they had hired someone else. A few days later I asked a friend of mine that also worked there and he told me that they had not one opening but two openings now and were really hurting for a driver........... I got the message and moved on. My next application was as a pizza delivery driver (sigh) once I mentioned my previous injury I was promptly told that they had all the drivers they needed and was also told that if they did have a opening they really didn't think I was physically capable of working for them.............. What with having to sit in a car and carry a few pounds of pizza around? Anyway, the depression started back in..........
In 2008 I helped co-found and launch Weaponsguild.com and found that it in itself was a great form of therapy, between moderating and building kits for myself I started tooling up and started (unknowingly) building the shop that would soon become HellBox Armory (HBA). In short order and with a lot of support from my fellow moderators and members I began to take on odd jobs here and there helping others along with there builds as well. Late in 2008 Mike (Owner of Prexis.com and Weaponsguild.com) Tossed the idea out of me starting up a company similar to Prexis, I think that was on a Tuesday and Wednesday he emailed me to let me know the site name was registered and that he was working up a basic home page for me................ Many many thanks go out to him for "helping me" along with this process (I say "helping me" because I have learned not to brag about being out of the shop for more than 5 minutes or else he launches some new product line for me or something to put me back in the shop working even later into the night - and I thhnk him for ever minute of it! Thanks Mike - With out you backing me (sometimes with a knife in hand) I would still be wondering about what name to use for the sitee/compan..
The shop is always changing and I am constantly adding tooling and machines as quick as I can - this summer (2009) I hope to expand the shop out by building a additional room 18x24 feet and just this month have had to convert a hobby room in my house into a dedicated home office. Needless to say, things are on the up swing and I am enjoying it greatly! I have already started to get repeat orders and hope to continue to grow well into the years to come.The shop is always changing and I am constantly adding tooling and machines as quick as I can - this summer (2009) I hope to expand the shop out by building a additional room 18x24 feet and just this month have had to convert a hobby room in my house into a dedicated home office. Needless to say, things are on the up swing and I am enjoying it greatly! I have already started to get repeat orders and hope to continue to grow well into the years to come.
Again, many thanks to "The gang" at Weapons Guild and special thanks to the confidence that Mike at Prexis was able to find in me when I doubted myself, My dad for being my hero and the one who instilled me with the love and respect of firearms and more thanks than I could ever express to my mom - she has backed me in everything I have done, supported me even when she didn't want to and done so unfalteringly.
After The Start up of HellBox Armory
Its been over three years now that HBA has been up and running and we have filled over 2500 orders so far!!Its been over three years now that HBA has been up and running and we have filled over 2500 orders so far!!
A lot of things have changed over the past few years - HBA has grown and grown and grown, we have gone though 3 manual lathes - 4 manual milling machines - upgraded to a CNC mill (already looking for a second one) as well as a CNC lathe (again, already looking to update/upgrade to a larger one). As well as finding a true passion in helping rescue K9's.
The shop has changed so many times it would be impossible to list all of them but they all have been with company growth and product quality improvements in mind and so far, I think we've done pretty well with hitting the mark. In order for us to grow any further we will need to expand into or move to a larger facility and/or hire additional machinist to run shifts/longer hours. We owe this continued growth to you the customer base - without you we would be nothing and I for one would like to say "Thanks to you all".
In early 2011 I left the staff of the Weapons Guild - I still feel it is the best all around firearm builder forum on the net but I could not put enough time into it and maintain the company - add to that a few irreconcilable differences between another primary staffer and myself and it was just "Time to move on". Still the best site with some of the finest builders known to man on there, if your not a member I'd strongly urge you to stop in and have a look around.
IN 2011 I partnered with Smiling Dog Farms in Southern Texas to help work to save "Unwanted" K9's live as well as I also founded "Cause 4 K9s" - I am currently seeking 501.c.3 certification for the foundation so that I can further my efforts in K9 rescue, welfare and wellness awareness for the forgotten, abuse and neglected K9's that are so prevalent in today's society. I know I have received a GREAT deal of healing from my K9's - they love and trust without question and this leads to so many innocent K9's lives being traumatized or ended prematurely. Spay/neuter and care properly for them - they are gifts from above.
We even have a Cause 4 K9 section on the Weaponsguild, please feel free to drop in and say hi to all the home building and K9 crew! Weaponsguild.commCause 4 K9 sectionn
This is a picture of Myself, my therapy dog Miller (on the rock with me), Hoppy (looking out of the frame to the left) and Lee-Lea (My Blond "senior" baby girl), Once I thought I was "saving" them - I've learned time and time again its me that was saved.
Now a bit about the name: HellBox?
Or : What the hell is a hellbox?
As a retired bomb squad guy hell box is
actually dual meaning, it is what we called the old style plunger detonator
boxes (the kind in the Willy E. Coyote cartoons) - they are highly prized and
rather rare (even repro boxes can run up close to a grand!). Anyway, if someone
didn't know what a hell box was they could look it up in a dictionary and they
would find something like this:
A hellbox is a receptacle where cast metal sorts are thrown after printing. The job of sorting the type from the hellbox and putting it back into the job case was given to the apprentice, known as a printer's devil. Later, when continuous casting or hot-metal typesetting machines such as the Linotype machine and Monotype became popular, the hellbox was used for storing discarded or broken type that were smelted down and recast.
- Now a little known fact about me is that back in High School I was the plate setter for my Vocational Schools news paper - I loved the job! Teacher gave me my assignments, I went into a dark room, locked the door and played heavy metal while "in school" - I also found out quick that I could smoke back there because of all the chemicals they had to have a vast exhaust system too clear the smoke...... err chemical fumes......... anyway, part of my job was that of a modern day Print Devil........... so the name is somewhat dual meaning to me.
Lastly, if you think about what a old time printers "HellBox" is - well its box for worn out and broken bits of lead type set to be to be put and made into something new again.......... Weird how that sort of sounds like what we do with our kits ehh?