Mike McBrayer knows socks. And he knows combat.
He worked in textiles - socks are textiles - most of his life after he was drafted out of Chester County and went to Vietnam more than 40 years ago. He was a platoon sergeant in a company that fought to stay alive in jungle and swamp, a man whose job was to bring 19-year-old kids home to their mommas.
Now McBrayer is retired from textiles and he sells socks at Rock Hill's outdoor superstore, Nichols Store. It's important, he says, for soldiers to have dry, clean, thick socks.
"When I was in Vietnam, out in the bush or anywhere you were, anytime you stopped, you changed your socks," said McBrayer, who sells all kinds of outdoor boots and clothing in addition to those outdoor socks at the store.
"Your feet are an important thing in combat. In wartime, you only go where your feet take you. We would ask for food from home first, and socks second."