Combat Flip Flops

Flip flops can cure illiteracy? After serving two tours, Veterans Matthew Griffin and Donald Lee witnessed the extent of illiteracy in Afghanistan and knew that they needed to find a solution. Flips flops were the unexpected answer to their problem. 

In 2016, Griffin and Lee presented a unique business venture on ABC’s reality television show Shark Tank. Their proposal earned them 300,000 dollars worth of investments, kickstarting their project. 

Griffin and Lee both served two tours in Afghanistan where they witnessed extreme destitution and suffering. This tumultuous environment prompted the men to create a business that would aid in the education of Afghani girls.

In 2016 Griffin and Lee presented their business venture on ABC’s reality television show Shark Tank. Their proposal warranted them 300,000 dollars worth of investments, kickstarting their project.

Combat Flip Flops sells primarily military-themed flip flops and footwear but they also dabble in apparel and accessories. The shoes are cleverly titled names such as “AK-47” and “MK-19”.

“For every product that we sell, we donate to put a girl in school for a day in Afghanistan,” Griffin told CBS Evening News. Lee continued noting that “an educated woman will raise an educated child, which grows up to be an educated adult and they’re least likely to be radicalized”.

Afghanistan has the highest illiteracy rate in the world totaling around 85% of the entire population. Lee and Griffin have already made major strides with the help of educator Hassina Sherjan. Sherjan along with the two men facilitated the creation of multiple schools with over 3,000 female students. Sherjan explains that “education is crucial in order to rebuild Afghanistan”. Sherjan also makes scarves for Combat Flip Flops in combination with her efforts in these schools.

While making some profits from their business and helping educate girls in Afghanistan, the men feel that this project also honors the memory of their fellow veterans who died fighting for our country.

Here at Longmeadow High School we have an immense amount of opportunities. We are known for our academic success as well as other things such as sports. LHS is ranked 51st within Massachusetts. We are a public school, however, compared to some of the other schools around us, our classes seem very rigorous just like at some private schools. At LHS we have many accomplished students, for example we have many seniors committed to elite schools such as Yale and Harvard. However, we also have many students that take our education for granted. We at LHS have such an amazing education system, yet many kids don’t care and don’t realize that we are very fortunate to have such advanced education compared to other areas, both in the US and other countries. Longmeadow students should realize that others would do almost anything for our academic opportunities and we should be appreciative.

While war is largely negative, Griffin and Lee found what good could be done. Though 3,000 students appears to be a small amount in comparison to many American institutions, these schools are bettering the lives of so many. Perhaps your new pair of flip flops could do much more than you expected.

Opinion Writer
Hi, my name is Emily Sangkachand, and I am a junior at LHS. Some of my hobbies are painting, volleyball, going on picnics, traveling, and writing. I am an opinions writer for The Jet Jotter and typically write about current events.

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