Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shake Hands With a Hero Today!

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 was a Girl Scout, my hometown
always had a big ceremony every Memorial Day, and one year a replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall was put up for the weekend. The turnout that year was crazy, there were so many people, in and out of uniform. I served as a guide that weekend, helping visitors find names on the wall-- there are so many of them.
Everyone that came to that wall had a story, and nine times out of ten it was about something that had gone undone, an unfinished story. I remember thinking then that there was no time to waste and that I never wanted to put anything off if I could help it. It's funny how at 12, you know you have all the time in the world and there is nothing to change that. 

Anyway, up until a few years ago every family member and friend I have that is in the military has come home and continued living their life without the unknown of war looming over their heads. Up until the Iraq War started I had pretty much forgotten about my 12 year old thoughts, but a couple days after it started, a morning paper reminded me just how much our servicemen and servicewomen do. A familiar face was on the front page.

I really couldn't believe it for a while, but it was true. Now that his, "What ifs", "When I", "As soon as" were over, I knew someone with an unfinished story and didn't need to hear about another one from someone else to understand what it was like. 

Knowing so many servicemen and women, they do what they do and that is the end of it. So, when I heard about the Shake Hands With a Hero initiative that P&G, Kroger, and the USO put together I immediately wanted to spread the word.  A handshake and thank you are the least we can give them, but it really does mean a lot, and even if you don't know any servicemen, you can give one a virtual handshake and thank you. 

Kroger has put together hundreds of programs and events for servicemen and their families and they plan on doing more! 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 and help reach the $250,000 donation to the USO. 

Let me know if you visit the site! And if you have an extra minute, stop by and say thanks to a friend of mine, I know his family still views his guest book.