Episode Show Notes:
Welcome to the "Militarily Speaking" podcast with Tom McLean and Jodi Vickery.
In this episode of “Militarily Speaking,” Tom, Jodi, and guest Sgt. Sam Meek, Founder and CEO of Sandboxx, discuss their founding story, how they help the military and their families stay connected, and how they support the military community.
“Militarily Speaking” is a podcast produced by Armed Forces Bank that is dedicated to the military lifestyle and all the things that makes military community who they are.
Ep. 25 — Sandboxx with Sgt. Sam Meek
Sandboxx Beginnings and Introduction of Sgt. Sam Meek
Before introducing Sgt. Sam Meek, Tom asks him to tell the listeners the story of how they came up with the name Sandboxx.
- Sam explains the story of how they came up with the name, and the meaning behind having two x’s on the name.
- Jodi then properly introduces Sam, and describes his service history as a Nuclear Biological Chemical Defense Specialist, continuing on to work in reconnaissance, and serving two tours in Iraq.
Send Letters to Military with Sandboxx
Jodi follows that up by asking Sam to explain how he moved from that life to where he is now working on Sandboxx.
- Sam briefly touches on how pivotal his military service was to shaping who he is, and then explains how he began creating a platform to help our military be successful.
- He describes the initial goals of the startup, launching their app, and the problems they seek to address.
- He notes that after their initial launch, only sending a few letters per day, how being able to send a letter to someone in basic training is now a main staple of their business.
- Sam adds that the marines were the first to quickly realize the importance that receiving those letters had on morale.
- He also notes that they currently onboard about 70% of new DoD members.
Supporting Military Members and Families Stay Connected
Tom then asks Sam to speak about their new ‘Muster’ app.
- Sam discusses the feature they initially launched with was called “units” that allowed people to communicate better.
- He explains how when they first implemented it, they experienced an empty man in the room scenario.
- He continues by explaining that now they have a critical mass, they are re-implementing the feature with new updates to allow for even better communication.
- Sam lists off some features of the app for recruiters, and how it helps them perform their job better.
Jodi asks what other means Sandboxx offers support to military members and their families.
- Sam notes that most of what they deliver is specific to the individual, after creating a Sandboxx account.
- He says that a lot of the value people can get comes out of their news channel, adding that they communicate a lot via their YouTube videos as well.
Tom asks how many men and women join the military each year, and how many they support through their various pipelines.
- Sam gives numbers for heavy vs. light years of recruitment, and notes that they get about 70% of those that sign up.
- He explains how Sandboxx provides support not only those joining, but also their families and relatives receive information and feel at ease.
- After prompting from Tom, Sam then talks about the team behind the scenes at Sandboxx, and how they feel that they are serving their country as well.
Sandboxx Partners Provide Assistance to Military
Tom wraps up by asking about partnerships other organizations might have with Sandboxx.
- Sam says that they recognized to do what they wanted to do, the right way, they would have to bring the right partners to the table.
- He says more than the companies that just want to advertise, but the ones who truly care about the military and want to provide positive impact for the military, are the businesses they partner with.
- He finishes by thanking Armed Forces Bank for their support over the years, and for how they support the military.
Jodi introduces the Military Minute segment of the show, beginning by closing out last episode’s Military Minute.
- Last episode’s Military Minute: Who is one of the partners of Next Move Military?
- Answer: Armed Forces Bank
- This week’s Military Minute question: How many letters to recruits in training and deployed service members has Sandboxx sent?
- Watch for Facebook and Instagram posts about this episode.
- Answer with the correct answer and you plus a charity of your choice can each win $50.
Tom closes the episode by asking listeners to go to www.afbank.com and subscribe to the show, as well as leave a rating and comment on your favorite podcast platform such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
Join us to hear how to better navigate your finances, military life, and the crossroads of the two.