A brief history of PARARESCUE.COM
In 1996, the internet was still in its infancy and Richard Hillard first registered the domain name PARARESCUE.COM. Rich was a Pararescueman serving with the 56th Rescue Squadron, Keflavik Naval Air Station, Iceland and in his off-duty hours developed and launched the first single-page iteration of the website.
In 1999, Rich completed his enlistment in the Air Force and returned home to New Hampshire where he formed an information technology consulting firm called SiteVentures. For years, Rich and his team at SiteVentures continued to operate ‘PARARESCUE Online’ as a personal hobby and a labor of love. The online ‘Message Board’ was the de-facto means of distributing non-classified information to the Pararescue community worldwide. There was also a rudimentary ‘Email Address Log’ which allowed Pararescue community members to find long-lost, good friends. (Remember, this was well before the launch of Facebook!)
In early 2001, before e-commerce was first introduced on the site, Rich wanted to create a new unofficial logo for use on the website. Rich wanted to create a simplified, modern, yet familiar PARARESCUE logo for use on apparel items. He wanted to create something that would be readily recognized and accepted by the PARARESCUE community, but separate and distinct from the sacred official emblem. He sketched out the modern Angel of Mercy logo and contracted a local graphic artist, Paula Ring, to create it as a vector line art drawing. After a few slight tweaks and changes, the modern Angel of Mercy logo was created.
In late 2001, PARARESCUE.COM began selling woodland-colored Angel of Mercy caps with black Angel of Mercy logo and USAF PARARESCUE embroidery. We also sold a moss-colored Angel of Mercy sweatshirt with maroon embroidery. These were the first items for sale and the first use of the modern PARARESCUE Angel of Mercy logo worldwide. Of course, the Angel of Mercy cap is still a very popular item and hasn’t changed since it was first introduced in 2001.
On April 19, 2002, SiteVentures filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the Angel of Mercy logo. This application was subsequently abandoned as SiteVentures transferred all efforts regarding online retail of apparel items to the newly formed Military Shirts.
Fast-forward 6 years and on August 25, 2008, Military Shirts filed for and subsequently received a Registered Trademark for the modern Angel of Mercy logo created by Richard Hillard from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The format of the website was also changed in 2008 to prominently feature our modern Angel of Mercy logo with the ® Registered Trademark symbol.
In the Spring of 2015 the website was completely redeveloped using a modern, responsive platform with an e-commerce enabled storefront. The website currently features the ‘Wall of Valor’, a complete archive of all PARARESCUEMEN to receive one of the top-three Department of Defense awards – the Medal of Honor, Air Force Cross, and the Silver Star.