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One for the Troops

Could the military be knocking at your door--your business's door, that is?

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This story appears in the March 2008 issue of Start Up.

Vic Henry and his son, Ben, knew nothing about military contracts when Air Force instructors approached them about their Pak-Lite flashlights. Ben, 21, had invented the ultralightweight flashlights when he was just 15 as a tool for hikers, and Vic, 56, had never thought about selling them to the military. But after an Air Force instructor discovered the Pak-Lite at a sporting goods trade show in 2002, Vic and Ben started receiving calls from interested military buyers. "It just kind of blossomed from there," says Vic. In 2007, a good share of Pak-Lite Co.'s $700,000 in sales came from military contracts.

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