Military-themed face masks are apparently a thing now

Jack Murphy
May 21, 2020 - 10:03 am
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

Getty: Pool / Pool

In some Asian countries people have been wearing face masks for for decades while out in public, sometimes because they have a cold and do not want to spread it to their fellow citizens while others wear them as a preventative measure. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic it is now mandatory for Americans in many places to wear face masks when social distancing is not possible.

Despite the seriousness of the situation, face masks have become the next overnight fashion accessory for some Americans. For soldiers and veterans, they may be a way to show off their military service.

The face masks can be a sign of patriotism, or they can have a sense of humor, while still others reflect pride in military service.

Templaran.com, for instance, offers face masks with the 75th Ranger Regiment's distinctive unit insignia, regimental scroll, and Ranger tab. Other masks have general Army themes and various arrangements of the stars and stripes. Another company called PNdeid is selling face masks that let the world know that you are a veteran, while you can get your DD-214 face mask from TZT. On Etsy, you can find face masks with more patriotic spirit than you can shake a stick at from American flag-themed masks to the Marine Corps' eagle, globe, and anchor. 

Official guidance from the U.S. military states that, "the Department of Defense urges individuals on DOD property, installations and facilities to wear cloth face coverings when a six-foot social distance cannot be maintained to help prevent the spread of COVID-19." However, soldiers on post will likely have to wear face masks that are a bit less flamboyant and more in line with uniform guidelines and regulations.

At the moment, most manufacturer's are churning out normal face masks as quickly as possible to keep up with demand, but with the masks now mainstreamed into American society like never before, it seems likely that more and more retailers and online wholesalers will get in on the action of offering affinity-based face masks, including ones specifically aimed at veterans.

Reach Jack Murphy: jack@connectingvets.com or @JackMurphyRGR.

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