RANGER AGAINST WAR: Free Soldier Models <

Friday, November 30, 2012

Free Soldier Models

Rock and roll might be summed up
as monotony tinged with hysteria 
--People Persuaders, Vance Packard 

Simple music is the hardest music in the world to play
--One Can Find Love Anywhere, Even in a Guitar, 
--Albert Collins 

I look from the wings at the play you are staging
While my guitar gently weeps 
--While My Guitar Slowly Weeps, 
George Harrison 

Martin Guitars has no qualms about featuring soldiers playing their guitars, but offer a discount?  That's a bridge too far.  Ranger takes exception to this as Martin has a series of military guitars dedicated to the various branches of the military.

Not one to miss a marketing opportunity, Martin Guitar designed their Veterans Model in 2002 to capitalize the early war fervor sales.  In addition to featuring the insignias of each military branch, the guitar features a dog tag-style label.  While there are no discounts to either veterans or active duty veterans, their site claims an UNDECLARED "portion of the proceeds from the sale of each DVM guitar will be donated to a disabled veterans' organization that wishes to remain anonymous" (the link is dead).

Ranger doesn't expect Gibson or any other maker to offer veterans discounts.  It is simply the fact that Martin is using the seals of the military branches on this model and using unpaid for models in the form of Soldiers that galls.  Preying upon the patriotic impulse via these images of service people in dire conditions finding succor in their guitar is priceless advertising that the company has simply appropriated; one would think they would offer a thanks in the form of a discount, at least.

FYI: There are groups which do donate guitars to deployed soldiers -- Operation Happy Note and Guitars4Troops among them.  We salute the work of these philanthropic organizations.

Camouflage looks cool on the free models, but Martin Guitar says, no discount for you, suckers.

Smells like exploitation to us.

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Anonymous mike said...

So I am confused (as normal). Are they passing out some free models overseas or not?

Friday, November 30, 2012 at 10:10:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I never figgured u to be a guitar man.
My research indicates that Martin gave some low end laminated guitars to Haiti at the request of the owner of Lowes.
To the best of my knowledge Martin DOES NOT donate guitars for GI use in theater, or any where else.
When i recently had my guitar repaired at the factory they would not give a discount even to a totally disabled wounded vet. Their rep said=we give no discounts.
I play Gibsons and presently have 4 martins and i DO NOT ever ask Gibson for a discount B/C they do not ride GI's backs in their marketing strategy.
If Martin pulls on our military prideheart strings to sell guitars then they should .....
I wonder how many Martins ever wore combat boots? They've been in America since at least 1833.( i know -this last is a totally tacky comment, but it keeps me sane)
Thanks for you comment.

Friday, November 30, 2012 at 10:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


It was a poorly-worded title; I may change it.

To clarify: Martin does no charity work for Soldiers or vets, aside from their obtuse statement that SOME proceeds go to an UNNAMED profit.

The only donation they've declared tangential to vets was at the request of the Jewish owner of Home Depot to donate a few instruments (6) to a rehab facility in Atlanta, which is not a veterans rehab facility.

Friday, November 30, 2012 at 11:09:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Unknown said...


I think the title is pretty good - seems like Martin is using the soldiers themselves as models to help sell the guitars. I have a feeling the men in those photographs are not being paid, but I could be wrong.

Friday, November 30, 2012 at 1:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thanks. It is my understanding that military personnel cannot "exploit" their service by getting paid for modelling/endorsing products.

I would seriously doubt these Solders were remunerated in any way, which is why the suggestion that on Martin's end, they should at least be offered a discount since the company is benefiting doubly from their service.

Friday, November 30, 2012 at 9:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous mike said...

Lisa - It was not poorly worded at all. Just my late onset dyslexia.

jim - I am not guitar oriented and not musically inclined at at all. Tone deaf is what my wife calls me. But I am trying to learn some chords on a mandolin. My grandma used to have one and played it well. It was an old world bowl-back model as I recall. I don't think the flat backs that they use in Bluegrass were even available in her day. She called it a pot belly.

There is (or was) a program in the Pacific NW that makes very inexpensive guitars and mandolins and sells them at cost to beginners. It was called the "Music Project". Mostly teenagers and old farts like me trying to keep out of trouble in our old age. I have not been very successful learning by the book so may have to take some lessons.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 3:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I don't have wifi at home so i can't use the comp for music lessons,but i use HOMESPUN videos purchased on ebay.
These help my efforts which are very novice.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 11:34:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

On the topicof lessons, if you can put up with opinionated sarcastic commentary (rofl), all the lessoning anyone could need is on Scott Grove's website, he'll download hours of lessons from beginner to advanced in a variety of styles, and postal mail you a thumb drive packed full for about the price of one Homespun DVDs.


Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 5:30:00 PM GMT-5  

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