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Army Veteran marches to his own drumbeat, literally

Andrew Morris with a Turtle Pad backpack
Andrew Morris with a Turtle Pad backpack

Army Veteran Andrew Morris always has a drum with him.

"My dad was a drummer," said Morris. "And my dad's dad was also a drummer, and it just kind of ran in the family. So, being around it a lot, I ended up you know, taking classes in middle school and percussion.

He got good at it. Very good. He has toured the country many times. He was part of the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, where they earned a world championship percussion title in 2011.

When Andrew joined the military in 2014, he still found time to drum.

He was in the army as a 92 Foxtrot, which is a petroleum supply specialist. There he found a different kind of rhythm

"...wake up, go work, eat when you're told to, um, and I really liked that regimented schedule," said Morris. "But I also really liked being pushed and the new experience that it led to and the new opportunities I was afforded."

After the military, Andrew taught music at local schools. And he noticed the kids who drummed struggled with their drum kits.

"My students didn't have everything that they needed to be successful," said Morris. "They didn't have drum pads. They didn't have drumsticks, you know, so they couldn't practice at home, they couldn't practice effectively."

And so a business was born: Turtle Pads. Morris created a drawstring backpack with a drum pad attached on the front. Drum pads, which are a natural gum rubber, are most often used for practicing. Here’s what a drum pad sounds like.

"Outside of just providing those you know, this novelty pad to these individual students we can provide for anyone really who's looking to pick up percussion for the first time and looking to learn how to play," said Morris.