In today's hyper-connected and digital world, communication is taken for granted. Most of the American population can chat, catch up, get an email answered or even send photos in real time with friends, co-workers, family and loved ones. One community, however, understands how sacred and special communication can be - the military. While civilians primarily use instant digital communication back home, their loved one at bootcamp or overseas can only use physical mail – creating communication silos and personal disconnects, ultimately affecting troop morale. But hearing from family and friends at home is what keeps our military community going. Further, no other profession relocates employees around more than the U.S. military – making staying in touch with former colleagues and friends difficult for this transient population.
Launched on Veteran's Day 2014 by two marine veterans from different generations – one Vietnam and one Iraq – Sandboxx is the only app on the market to understand and help solve the pain points of military communication. Its goal is to ease the chaos of the military lifestyle by simplifying the way the military community connects, communicates and corresponds - on and off the grid. Currently, Sandboxx boasts two exclusive features designed specifically for our active, reserve and guard military, veterans and their family and friends:
• Chatboxx – Chatboxx is a user-friendly feature providing active duty service members and veterans with the opportunity to find, connect and communicate with those whom they currently serve or have served with in the past all within one platform. Digitally mirroring the military's physical command structure, users enter in the specific units in which they have served during their career – from division, brigade, battalion, platoon, etc. - as well as the dates in which they served. Sandboxx then compiles a list of other users who also served in those units during the specified dates. Only then can users request to connect with fellow soldiers. This keeps each user's Sandboxx experience custom to their own military history. Once connected, it's like they never lost touch. Users can post text and pictures, reminisce and share old war, barracks and base housing stories, catch up with each other, provide encouragement and advice and more in news feed format. Service members can also share photos, texts, etc. with civilians through their main home feed.
• Mailboxx – At any given moment, 200,000 military members are off the grid in training or deployment and are missing loved ones. This is often the first time many service members have not been able to instantly communicate with their friends and family back home. This leaves physical mail as one of the main ways to correspond, especially in basic training. In return, Mail Call is still the most important source of morale for our troops that are away from home. Civilians, however, are fully immersed in a digital communication culture. They are on their phones all day - not sitting at a desk with stationary anymore. This can easily lead to communication disconnects between soldiers and their civilian loved ones. Not to mention, physical mail takes a lot of planning and time – something many people back home do not have a lot of. Now with Mailboxx, spouses, parents, other family members and friends can easily capture and share all the moments taking place back home in real time. Whether it's a beautiful sunset or a memorable childhood milestone, all it takes is a couple taps on their phone and their image and message are converted into a physical letter that is automatically printed out by the Sandboxx team and sent to their hero's mail call. No more remembering addresses, buying stamps or even traveling to the post office. The best part? Each Mailboxx includes a stamped and addressed return envelope making replies just as simple. For military families and friends life doesn't stop when their loved one is away and Mailboxx is the only way to make sure that they never miss a moment.
Most importantly, these men, women and their loved ones devote their lives and make personal sacrifices to keep our nation free. They deserve to be able to connect, communicate and support each other, however civilian social media is not conducive to the military lifestyle. The majority of users on mainstream sites do not understand what it is like to be away from home for months with limited communication, to be given orders to pick up and move a family to a new city or country on a moments notice and make friends with people that would be willing to give up their lives for one another on a daily basis.
As one Sandboxx user said, “I have sent two [Mailboxx] letters to my boyfriend overseas and look forward to hearing his response once he receives them. I have shared this great app with my friends who also have loved ones deployed. I am starting to use the app to connect with my unit as I just joined the Air National Guard. Thank you for making such a wonderful app that makes sending letters so easy and convenient. I was pleasantly surprised by the great price; it makes it so affordable for everyone."
Currently there are 2.3 million active and reserve military personal and 23 million veterans in the U.S.. Sandboxx is the only military lifestyle oriented mobile application to provide a sense of exclusivity and comfort to this community on and off the grid. In just four and a half short months, the app has received active users from every single branch of the U.S. military as well as thousands of family and friends. In fact, Sandboxx's user base grows by double digits each week. Ultimately, in a world where there is no hard line between where DoD culture ends and personal lifestyle begins, Sandboxx augments the military lifestyle and supports our military community all in one mobile application.