At the unveiling Tuesday in Erlanger, creator Marjorie Eastman, a U.S. Army veteran, explained she had difficulty narrowing down the list of companies to just 52. Some of her featured businesses and foundations include Grunt Style, LumAware, Grypmat and Bunker Labs. "Across the board, all walks of life, it really is a great reflection of the military community and what we are capable of," she says.
Charlynda Scales' Dayton company Mutt's Sauce is the four of hearts in the deck. Her grandfather left her the original recipe of the sauce in his will and she decided to market it.
Veteran Jason Johnson's foundation Project K9 Hero was formed out of a need to help care for retired police and military dogs. For several decades Johnson was a dog handler and a trainer for the Army, the ATF and the Department of Homeland Security.
Axel, a retired ATF dog, travels with the organization. He suffers from a variety of diseases that cost $1,200 a month to treat. Johnson explains that through donations, his foundation pays for the medical care, food and death benefits incurred. After dogs retire, the government no longer pays for their care.
Johnson says he is honored to be included in the deck. He knows of the 2003 playing cards that showed "Iraqi Most Wanted."
United States Playing Card President Michael Slaughter says there is a rich history between the company and the military dating back to the Civil War. One of the founders of the company was a veteran. During World War II, the company made a series of decks to help with escape maps from behind enemy lines. Other cards helped soldiers learn about enemy aircraft, ships and submarines.