Bicycle + Magicians On Mission

Our Story - Bicycle Cards and Magic Go Hand-in-Hand

Telling the story of Magicians on Mission isn’t as simple as saying something like “Magicians on Mission is a 501C3 organization founded in 2019 by Chris Rose. Our mission is to support the United States Military by providing tours of live magic shows and hand delivered care packages to our troops stationed abroad. Our annual tours entertain thousands of service members, their families and our allies.”

Although that is what they do, the reason their story isn’t that simple is because it involves real magic and saving lives.

When speaking to service members who’d attended shows and the performers, the words heard over and over were; Trust, Respect, Honor, and Family. 

"My husband is currently deployed [now home] and was able to watch your show. Right before the show began I had to call him and give him some sad news regarding his father's health. After the show he sent me a message that it had greatly helped keep his mind happy for a bit. 

The time and effort given to travel and spend some of your time and talents with the troops is so valuable! Whether it be tough news from home, a rough day on the job, or just missing your family it helps brighten their day and get their mind off things for a bit. It is so very appreciated. Thank you from a grateful Air Force wife.”

Their story isn’t just about lasting moments that connect people in profound ways.

After one of our shows in Jordan, David (Sgt. - US Army), who was assigned to our security detail, sat down with us. He’d been having a difficult time recently and attending our show helped pull him out of it. He shared a story about a friend, Michael, another service member, he’d lost to suicide. To honor and remember him David had worn a bracelet every day since his death. Being there that night was so meaningful, he wished we’d been there for Michael to see the show, that it might have made a difference for him too. In an act that brought all six men to tears, David slipped off the bracelet and gave it to Chris. That gift is a constant reminder of how important what we’re doing is and to keep going.

Part of the story is that they aren’t like anyone else. What they do and how they help the troops is unique. Have you ever heard of a team of magicians doing something like this??

Yes, they put on a big show for the whole base like other entertainment groups but where Magicians on Mission really shines is during unit visits where they go where the troops work and to the off duty areas to perform up-close and personal. Miracles begin to happen with cards and coins inside the audience's hands causing smiles, laughter and occasionally cursing. These shows are favorites because the groups get to know each other on a more personal level and serves to break up the monotony of their days.

Experiencing magic in up close situations, inspires imagination, shifts perspectives and brightens moods. Curiosity takes hold as our brains attempt to explain the puzzle of an impossibility. The impact this has on the mental health and well being of our service members is immense. It saves lives. We know because they go out of their way to tell them.

“They literally tell us that they were near the snapping point near the breaking point and that we somehow pulled them out of it. And that's what they tell us personally, one-on-one. That gives my life a meaning that I don't think I've really given a lot of thought to in the past.” -Jim Leach - Magician

When Chris decided that Magicians on Mission needed to be doing multiple tours year round, he turned to The United States Playing Card Company (USPCC) to see if they wanted to join them on our mission. Bicycle brand cards are beloved by magicians worldwide and the USPCC has a long history supporting the US Military in unique ways as well.

The USPCC has supported wartime soldiers by providing cards to them starting with the Spanish–American War and again in World War I. In World War II, USPCC manufactured spotter cards so soldiers could identify enemy units and cooperated with the U.S. Government in creating clandestine decks given to POWs; these cards could be moistened and peeled apart to reveal escape maps.

USPCC president Craig Townsend tells us they were actively looking for ways of engaging the military; 

“...a deck of cards is not just a deck of cards. A deck of cards is really hundreds of opportunities. And whether it's through magic or it's playing games with friends, with your teammates, or it's playing a solitaire type game by yourself. The fact is, there are so many possibilities, we really wanted to come up with a way that we could speak to the service members more directly. With Magicians on Mission there was a way to work closely and directly with them in a one to one type format. We got excited when the opportunity arose. 

When I got a chance to meet Chris and Gary Hamm [ret Navy - Magician on Mission’s Military Liaison/ Magician] at the first meeting and got to pepper Gary with a lot more questions, I felt that this was an organization we could align with.”

Magicians on Mission is proud to be sponsored by The United States Playing Card Company, to bring their decks of Bicycle cards with us continuing their legacy and to share wonder, joy, and excitement with those courageous men and women who serve.


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