Always Remember, Never Surrender
Thanks for visiting Steel Hearts. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2014 by Joe Wiseman '08 and Chris Merz '07 to honor fallen West Point graduates through high-quality memorial bracelets.
We started Steel Hearts for two reasons. The first was to honor and remember our West Point classmates and friends who were killed in action during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Being veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, we personally lived through the loss of our good friends, and we have vowed to honor their sacrifices.
The second reason was to raise money for charities and veterans' organizations through the sale of unique and innovative products. The first thing we came up with was a high quality, laser etched steel commemorative bracelet. We were tired of cheaper bracelets snapping, breaking, and generally looking terrible. They were not suitable nor appropriate to honor our friends' memories. So, we searched long and hard to find these bracelets and were fortunate to find some that met our standards. Oh, and they are 670-1 authorized, too - feel free to wear them with pride in and out of uniform.
We donate all proceeds raised through sales to veteran non-profit organizations and charities. Being 2007 and 2008 graduates, we started there with commemorative bracelets. Steel Hearts now offers bracelets honoring fallen graduates and cadets of West Point from the classes of 1982 to 2019.
Eventually, we will expand to cover all classes with fallen graduates. Our team has now grown to four, and we are always looking for quality people who want to volunteer and help with our endeavor. If interested, send us a note!
Joe Wiseman graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2008 and commissioned as an infantry officer. He subsequently deployed to Iraq and the Sinai
Chris Merz graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2007 and commissioned as an infantry officer in the US Army. He served in the 75th Ranger Regiment and deployed seven times to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo in a variety of leadership and staff positions. During that time, he met Joe at the Captain’s Career Course at Fort Benning, and the two collaborated to bring Steel Hearts to life to honor their fallen classmates.
Chris left active duty service in 2016 to pursue his MBA at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. He remains passionate about military issues and is a board member of the Foster Veterans Association, where he counsels and mentors transitioning veterans. Chris resides with his wife, Lauren, in Bellevue, WA.
John joined the Steel Hearts team in the fall of 2015 as a part-time volunteer and research assistant. Since that time, he has worked to expand the Steel Hearts mission across a variety of social media platforms and grow the community. Recently, he has worked closely with current members of the Corps of Cadets on several special projects in direct support of West Point charity-based initiatives.