Thank you to Procter & Gamble, Kroger and the USO for sponsoring this blog post and the Shake Hands With A Hero initiative. Please click here to learn more about this program. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.
When I first heard about Shake Hands With A Hero, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. I not only shake hands with a hero, I hug one and stand beside him through good times and bad. My hero is my wonderful husband and I am so very proud of him.
If you ask him, he’ll tell you he’s just doing his job and its just another day. And while that’s what he’ll tell anyone he meets, I know how much being a soldier means to him. Its a true honor for him and I admire his courage and strength during deployments. For me, it’s an honor and a privilege to be his wife and stand beside him through these times. I hope he realizes just how much we love him and appreicate all that he does.
I knew it would be hard when my husband decided to join the military. My little brother was already a soldier and was gearing up for a deployment. My husband left for basic training the same time my little brother deployed, I missed both of them so much and I was so proud of them. I knew that no matter how much I missed them, I needed to be strong and give them all of the support I could to help remind them that people back home loved them and were thinking of them. My husband came home from training and left a month later to join his unit in Iraq. Believe me, if something could go wrong at home it did! But no matter what, I stayed strong for him.
My husband often told me, the hardest part about being deployed was being away from home, away from family. I always made sure to drop a letter or a card in the mail every day, I sent care packages once a week, I got my sister and niece in on the action and let them help pick out items for him. My niece was big into rubber duckies so we even included one in her care package to help remind him of her…that special rubber ducky had the priviledge of riding on the dash of my husband’s MRAP for the remainder of the deployment.
I know that the next deployment will be alot different, this time we have our daughter and it will be harder for hubby to be away from home. Abby is very much a daddy’s girl and they have a special bond. He knows, though, he’ll have a flood of cards and letters, tons of pictures, plenty of care packages and even videos to help him feel like he’s with us even when we’re half a world away.
We moved to a military base not long ago and I see first hand other families going through deployments, husband and wives…mommies and daddies who are not home for important occasions, who miss holidays and birthdays and sometimes even the birth of their children. Day to day life continues on while the men and women of our country sacrifice their comfort and saftey to keep us safe. They give up these special times, they leave their families so that the rest of us don’t have to. These men and women, our soldiers, go when called and I often wonder if they know how much some of us appreciate all that they do.
My husband and daughter are my family, I am proud to say I am a military spouse and we are a military family. But my military family also extends past just my hubby and daughter, it extends to all the wonderful people I have met over the years. Those that I talk with online and have met here on base. We support one another and are there for each other. If a friend calls me to say her loved one is deploying, I want to make sure to send them cards to help support them and let them know we appreicate them.
My husband told me that it didn’t matter what it was, having something during mail call always made the day so much better. I was so thankful that I had so many who sent him cards and letters; however, many soldiers don’t and sometimes they go an entire deployment without a single reminder of home.
A postcard, a card, a handshake, an e-mail may seem like such a small thing. To someone who is far from home, though, these gestures let them know that their sacrifices are appreciated.
The USO (United Service Organizations) provides an extensive range of programs at more than 160 locations in 27 states and 14 countries, and at hundreds of entertainment events each year. Thousands of USO volunteers do everything possible to provide a home away from home for our troops and to keep them connected to the families they left behind.
Kroger (along with its family of stores) and Proctor & Gamble have joined together to support the USO and to donate $250,000 to the organization!
Through this partnership, you will be able to virtually “shake hands with a hero”–the proper custom to show your gratitude to US soldiers in uniform to thank them for their service to our country. Simply go to the website, Click ok “shake hands with a hero”, Enter your Name, City and State, then you choose not only the branch but also the soldier you would like to honor with a handshake.
The first 50,000 people who utilize the microsite application (at www.honoringourheroes.com) to shake a soldier’s hand will receive a coupon (loaded to their Kroger Plus Card) for $1 off P&G products.