The Strength Behind the Strong website. Proudly supporting our friends and family in the U.S. military, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.


The Strength Behind The Strong was founded by Christine Hofmann-Bourque, who is proud to have a husband in the Army, three brothers in the Navy and Army, and a sister-in-law in the Army. Christine is also a professional journalist. Read our first post to find out why this website is so close to her heart. More >>

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Sew cute! crafters sell funky accessories made from military uniforms

Most people look at a pile of ACUs or BDUs and think, “Ugh. More laundry.” Army wife Courtney Jordan took a more creative approach to her husband’s camo: She picked up scissors to remake his uniforms (retired ones, of course!) into flirty, fun pocketbooks. “I love the whole idea of keeping my soldier close and showing how proud I am of him and what he does for our country,” says Courtney, who sells her custom-made “Hero With Me” bags on, an online marketplace exclusively for handmade crafts. Courtney is just one of many military spouses and supporters on who sell items made from used and/or retired military uniforms. So if you’ve ever wanted to “wear” the uniform, here’s your chance! Check out these seven Etsy cuties.

#1. Uniformly pretty.  You can send Courtney your loved one’s old uniform — including name tape and patches —  and she’ll design a unique Hero with Me bag ($50) in your choice of fabrics and colors. Courtney stitches and sews from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, but will ship anywhere in the United States through her Etsy shop, A Silent Rank.  

This Hero with Me bag features a fashion-forward combination of turquoise and brown with camouflage; we especially love the touch of “support our troops” yellow. Use the Velcro on its front to add a unit patch.

#2. All buttoned up. At Etsy’s C&J Jewelry, an Army spouse sells handmade “I Love My Soldier” (or Airman, Marine, or Sailor) bracelets and necklaces (about $19–$29.99), which showcase buttons from military uniforms. 

The green buttons on this Air Force bracelet ($24.99) are from real military uniforms. "I get this question a lot," writes the seller on her site. "Yes, ACUs have buttons ... check your fly!"

#3. Camo for a cause. This pretty and functional Desert Camo Large Tote Bag ($42) is crafted from a tri-color desert camo pack cover. It’s the creation of Kellie Moreman, a National Guard mom who donates all proceeds from her camo bags and blankies to families of soldiers.

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