Memorial Day Matters


It’s not the end of a three-day weekend. It’s not the unofficial beginning of summer. Solely on its own merits, Memorial Day matters. It has an important purpose. Ask any family who has been handed an American flag in the shape of a tri-cornered colonial hat. They never forget.

Maybe Memorial Day needs a modern day social media push. It is a movement believed to have begun on a community level following the American Civil War. A number of cities from Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and beyond, all lay claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. However, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson officially recognized Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day. It was 100 years after the city held its first ceremony honoring those who died in the Civil War.


Originally, it was called “Decoration Day.” The name is credited to Union Maj. General John A. Logan, who asked people to lay flowers at the graves of fallen soldiers as a tribute. Late May was selected, for it was a time when flowers would be in bloom all across the United States from South to North.

Sadly, 44 years after the U.S. Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday in 1971, it still seems to suffer from a bit of an identity crisis. Hopefully, that’s the explanation. Apathy would be much tougher to take.

It can be a real kick in the rear of camouflage pants to see how Memorial Day fights to be recognized. Meanwhile, Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates a Mexican military victory over France, grows in popularity every year across America.



The Difference Between Memorial Day and Veterans Day

By definition, a memorial is something established to remind people of a particular person or event. Memorial Day exists to commemorate each and every one who died in service of the United States Armed Forces. It is a richly-deserved tribute to fallen military heroes.

Since 1954, every November 11th has been designated as Veterans Day. (It began as “Armistice Day” as a celebration of the Allied Forces victory in World War I). Veterans Day is another richly-deserved federal holiday put in place to honor all American veterans from wars, past and present.


Memorial Day matters to the men and women of AWC, Inc.

Many of our team members have served in the U.S. Marines, or are military spouses. They feel the sacred aspect of the day of remembrance. They think of those they knew personally who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. On our website this holiday weekend, we will be sharing a couple of interesting stories which serve as powerful examples of the significance of Memorial Day.

AWC CEO Bryce Stirlen adds, “On behalf of everyone at AWC, from the bottom of our hearts we thank and honor those who have died in service to the United States Armed Forces. We thank their families as well for their service and sacrifice. We’d like to wish everyone across America a safe and happy holiday weekend. We’d like to ask something, too. Whether you are on a beach, on the road, or in the backyard enjoying a BBQ with friends and family, please honor the National Moment of Remembrance with your silence and gratitude at 3:00 pm local time. Please, keep the ‘memorial’ alive in Memorial Day.”

Think of it this way. Five weeks from now, The 4th of July Independence Day wouldn’t be so much of a celebration if it weren’t for the efforts and sacrifices of many brave Americans. They served this country with a sense of duty and honor, and died fighting to protect the freedoms we enjoy every day. The least we can all do is remember them.

AWC to Benefit 3-Year Old Son of Murdered U.S. Marine Joshua McJilton


AWC to Benefit 3-Year Old Son of Murdered U.S. Marine Joshua McJilton

Veteran-driven AWC, America’s leading Tactical Gear and Gun Parts Company,  announces a public Fundraising Event at its Oceanside, CA offices on Saturday, May 16th from 9:00 am -3:00 pm. It will support the 3-year old child of fallen U.S. Marine, Joshua McJilton, also from Oceanside. A portion of proceeds from a one-day sale, and all proceeds from a raffle drawing will benefit a trust fund for McJilton’s 3-year old son, Brayden. The unarmed 27-year old hero was killed on April 25, 2015 on a family visit in Wauseon, Ohio. His bravery saved the life of a woman he did not know during a domestic dispute. The alleged killer, Romualdo Córdoba Jr. remains on the run.       


Oceanside, CA.  May 9, 2015  – “Leave No Man Behind.” It is an unwritten but unwavering U.S. Military code. It also serves as the inspiration for the mission of AWC, Inc. to support 3-year old, Brayden McJilton, the “little man” left behind in the killing of his father, U.S. Marine and civilian hero, Joshua McJilton, of Oceanside, CA.

Police and U.S. Marshals are searching for 38-year old, Romualdo Córdoba Jr. He is considered armed and dangerous. An April 25, 2015, a Wauseon, Ohio parking lot surveillance video allegedly shows him shooting and killing unarmed 27-year old Joshua McJilton, who intervened in a domestic dispute between the suspect and his estranged wife, Melinda Cordoba.

romualdo-cordoba-jr - josh-mcjilton-death

(Photo: Romualdo Córdoba Jr.)

“My husband was a hero,” cried Lydia McJilton, Josh’s wife of 5 years, and Brayden’s mother. “He always was. He jumped in to help like any Marine would have.” Joshua McJilton spent 4 years as a forward observer for the   1/11th U.S. Marines out of Camp Pendleton.

News of Josh McJilton’s death hit AWC hard. A number of U.S. Marines and spouses are employed at the company, making the highest quality tactical gear, and parts to build a gun legally. They’re doing the following to assist their fallen comrade:

  1. Transforming a previously scheduled “Customer Appreciation Day Sale,” into a public fundraising event. 10% of proceeds will go to a trust fund established for Lydia and Josh McJilton’s 3-year old son, Brayden McJilton.
  1. Hosting a Raffle Drawing. ALL proceeds benefit Brayden McJilton trust fund. AWC is donating a customized, refurbished Marine Corps Field Desk/Shooting Table (work done by U.S. Marines, Jordan Leete and William Smith, Jr.). The winning prize has a $1500 value.

“Our company proudly honors veterans,” said AWC CEO, Bryce Stirlen. “The brave actions of Joshua McJilton prove being a hero, and his U.S. Marine Corps training were in his heart and DNA. We are trying to salute him in a helpful way.”

“My Josh would have been so proud humbled by this,” said Lydia McJilton. “I am beyond grateful. I don’t have words to express how thankful I am.”

The Brayden McJilton Fundraising event will be held from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at the AWC facility, 2420 Industry St. Oceanside, CA 92054. (760) 650-2737.

About AWC, Inc.

AWC Inc. manufactures and sells the finest quality tactical gear, and gun parts made in America. Headquartered in Oceanside, California, the veteran-driven company proudly supports the Second Amendment in serving legal citizens, law enforcement, and military customers.

For more information, visit or call (760) 650-2737.


Media Contact Information:

Thomas Baldrick, AZ Strong

Phone: (480) 415-8610







2015 Vietnam Veterans Day: A Personal Tribute


Today was more than just Sunday. March 29, 2015 was Vietnam Veterans Day. It was special for those who remembered and recognized the tribute. You could also say it was fitting many Americans didn’t know about the holiday today. After all, it took years for Vietnam Veterans to truly be welcomed home. It took many more years for them to be respected and regarded as heroes.

One of the guys on the team at AWC was lucky enough to spend the 2015 Vietnam Veterans Day in Florence, Arizona. He rode shotgun with Joseph J. Mauro, Jr. The transplant from Northern New Jersey was a member of the United States Army. Mauro spent his 20th birthday fighting in the Vietnam War. Today, he spent time doing a couple of things he loves…shooting his guns, and showing respect to veterans.

The retired Mr. Mauro stands out riding along the highways and byways of Arizona. He is the proud owner of one of the coolest, most patriotic motorcycles you will find anywhere on three wheels.

He had a custom wrapping done on the body of the bike to celebrate America, and its military veterans. He wasn’t paid by anyone to provide the tribute. It’s something he did from his own heart and bank account.

Joseph J. Mauro, Jr. is a bit of an unlikely vocal supporter of U.S. Veterans. He didn’t dream of being a soldier. He didn’t enlist either. Mauro was called to serve at a time when the military draft was legal. He admits in those days, “I had a real chip on my shoulder, and had a problem with any kind of authority.” The U.S. Army straightened him out all right. And Joseph J. Mauro, Jr. knows he is a better man for it.

Today, the main authority figure Joey has a problem with is President Barack Obama. That’s stating it mildly. He doesn’t appreciate the president for his handling of veteran’s affairs. Secondly, he has harsh criticism for Obama’s attack on the Second Amendment.

AWC would like to thank Joseph J. Mauro, Jr. for his time and company on Vietnam Veterans Day 2015, and ultimately for his service to our country. We now invite you to take a couple of minutes to enjoy our video with this unique Vietnam Veteran. If you feel so inclined, you can connect with Joey on Facebook.

Bryce Stirlen, New CEO

AWC Acquired by Lake House Capital Management, Bryce Stirlen

In the United States of America, you can mix business with pleasure. Here is living proof.

Lake House Capital Management, LLC, a Hinsdale, Illinois-based holding company is pleased and proud to announce it has acquired all the assets of Lycurgan, Inc., (doing business as AWC). Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed at this time.

U.S. Marine, Dimitri Karras, who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, founded AWC in 2010. Headquartered in Oceanside, California, AWC is the leading supplier of 80 percent lower receivers, and develops and manufactures high quality American-made firearm parts to legally build your own weapons. The business also proudly develops, manufactures, and sells innovative tactical gear, combat body armor, and more.

“We thank and respect Dimitri Karras for his patriotism, service, and defense of our country and its Constitution,” says new AWC CEO, Bryce Stirlen. “We value his vision and efforts with AWC, and truly wish him all the best in his future roles in the company.”

AWC customers can expect to experience no disruption in quality or service during the management transition. But like when anyone buys a house, Lake House Capital Management has much it loves about AWC, but also has some areas where it wants to make changes and add its own touches.

“Great people and great products have built AWC into the successful business it is today,” adds Stirlen, a gun enthusiast, husband, and father. “Our main focus is to now build a better foundation to support the explosive growth the Company is experiencing.

That said, to be clear, one area where we will not waver is in loyal defense of the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and protecting the rights of all Americans to bear arms.

We are very excited about an even brighter future for AWC, and believe our customers will be excited about it, too.”

Amended: New AWC CEO, Bryce Stirlen. “In response to feedback about our Veteran heritage, we maintain and stand strong unwavering from our Veteran status. Of Veterans, by Veterans, and for Veterans.”

Dr. John Lott Takes Aim at NY Times

John Lott Jr

Dr. John R. Lott, Jr. taking aim at the NY Times

Dr. John Lott, Jr. Takes Aim at N.Y. Times & Gun Control Advocates

Today, isn’t about the smoke beginning to clear. It’s about the sound of the expert shots fired yesterday which deserve to be heard as far as the ears in America can hear. Dr. John Lott, Jr. armed himself with the truth in taking aim at the New York Times, and other gun control advocates. That’s a good thing.

Add to it that, Dr. John Lott is a leading expert and author on guns, and heads up the Crime Prevention Research Center. That’s a better thing. Add to it that he’s dead on target with his opinions, and has the facts to support them…that’s even better. Here’s a closer look.

His latest piece just published as a columnist for is titled, “Guns and the New York Times: Why shouldn’t Americans be able to defend themselves?” In his writing, Dr. Lott is quickly returning fire against a recent opinions post by the N.Y. Times Editorial Board. It was regarding the number of deaths attributed to individuals who have legal permits to carry concealed weapons. They called it, “Concealed Carry’s Body Count.”

Dr. John Lott, Jr. argued Americans who have gone to the trouble, and through the trials and tribulations of becoming legal concealed handgun permit holders are not criminals. He rightly defended them as true law-abiding citizens. He packed his position with solid proof showing permit holders are even more law-abiding than police.

A highlight of his powerful rebuttal to the N.Y. Times, Dr. Lott points out a study by Police Quarterly. It showed crimes committed by police officers were reported at a rate of 124 crimes per 100,000 officers. Whereas concealed handgun permit holders committed crimes at just one sixth of that rate, 20.5 per 100,000.

AWC would like to publicly acknowledge and thank Dr. John Lott, Jr. for taking on the New York Times. We appreciate his latest well-researched article in support of the 2nd Amendment, gun rights, and specifically permit holders across the United States of America.