By Eric Jackson
On behalf of everyone at here at Jackson Kayak, we want to wish our fellow countrymen a big happy birthday! If you are not from the USA, your country’s birthday is coming soon I am sure. Today is the USA’s 239th birthday! So young, but yet so much has happened in the past 239 years! We are not a perfect country, as there are no perfect people, either. However, we have created, and create every day, a country that we can be proud of calling home. We create is as individuals, doing what we do best, what we love, and taking care of our friends, families, and neighbors the best we can.
Jackson Kayak is lucky to call Tennessee, USA, home. I have always felt, personally, very welcomed here, and my neighbors, and the government has been very accommodating and supportive of my efforts and actions. When I first bought property in Rock Island, before Jackson Kayak, I wanted to teach some clinics to help support my family there. I asked “Ranger Joe” , the local authority, from Rock Island State Park if I needed a permit to teach clinics on the Caney Fork River there. His answer was, “EJ, if this helps you and brings in some money to the area, you will get no trouble from me, go for it. ” Sweet! I was hooked! This was how I imagined America, in the early years, where the goal was to create opportunities and pursue them. In 2004 when we opened the doors to Jackson Kayak, it was the same experience. Everyone was so supportive of having a new company in town, even though it was small, and nobody knew if we would be around in a year or two.
Here is a video that shows what the faces of Jackson Kayak look like in Sparta, Tennessee…
As part of our commitment to our hometown, state, and country, I decided before we made our first part, that everything we do we will find a local supplier for or make it ourselves. Employing people who live in our hometown or close by in the USA. This isn’t the only way to support our country, but it is one that we can do everyday. It is a way of life that requires constant attention and focus or we stray off the path. Buying parts from a USA company, doesn’t mean that they made it in the USA. We have found that out the hard way in the past. I am not against buying foreign made products if they are designed by, made by, and sold by people from that area. I am against buying products that could be made in the USA, but the company found a cheaper supplier overseas due manufacturing plants that employ near slave labor and have poor working conditions that equate to a lower labor cost. Back to Independence Day…
I am writing from Washington, DC where Kristine, KC, and I will watch the fireworks over the Washington Monument in view of the Capital Building. It is not only one of, if not, THE best fireworks in the USA for the 4th of July, but it is a good place to reflect on what it means to be an American and a citizen of a shrinking world.
A few commitments that I would like to renew at this time, and will think about during the awesome fireworks display tonight…
- I will do everything I can, and so will the rest of the JK leadership to assure that Jackson Kayak stays on track and makes our products locally. Our new 320,000 square foot factory in Sparta, TN is part of that commitment.
- I will do my best to be a good citizen in my town, county, state, and country.
- I will be a good ambassador for the USA when I travel abroad, and learn what I can from those I meet in other countries.
- I will not be suckered in by the propaganda from my government, media, or special interest groups- I will think freely and learn the facts and follow my own position and lead by example where I can.
Some of the things I’ll be celebrating today:
- My good fortune and pure luck that I was born in this awesome country.
- A spirit of independence and the responsibility it comes with.
- Family and Friends
- Fireworks that will rock the foundations of America’s government buildings!
Happy Independence Day America!!!
p.s. Thank you Tony Lunt, Dave Olson, Joe Pulliam and many others for your ongoing support for keeping Jackson Kayak made in the USA!!!