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.
I don’t just shake hands with a hero–my hero is my husband.It has been an honor and a privilege to support him in his service these past seven years.
Like other heroes, though, he will tell you he is just doing his duty.
He left his job as a litigator at a New York City law firm to enter basic training and later accept a commission as a field artillery officer. In December of 2005, he deployed to Iraq. For almost a year he led a mission into Baghdad almost every day, sometimes twice a day. He saw violence but he also bore witness to hope as he brought diplomats and dignitaries to see the situation on the ground for themselves.
Along the way, he missed Christmas and a year’s worth of Holidays and birthdays and celebrations. He found out we were having our first child over the phone. And he was not there for the birth of his first child.
He carried 90 pounds of gear in 140 degree weather and led men through a war zone because that is what his country asked of him.
But he never lost his sense of purpose and his humanity–or his willingness to amuse a child with a magic trick. And he never lost sight of his mission and he brought each and everyone of his soldiers home.
When our brave men and women of the armed forces put themselves in harm’s way, they are sacrificing their comfort and safety for our own.
They voluntarily leave their own warm homes, missing anniversaries, kids’ games and recitals, and even births, so that the rest of us do not have to.
Military service in today’s world is a choice, which is all the more reason to thank our soldiers. They could choose to be doing just about anything else–but instead they are on the front lines of freedom, fighting the battles our elected civilian leaders have chosen.
While my husband was deployed, he was “adopted” by a number of members of Soldier’s Angels. They sent him so many postcards and letters, all of which he filed in a giant binder that we still keep today.
A postcard, a handshake, an e-mail may seem like a small thing. To someone who is far from home, though, these gestures let them know that their sacrifices are appreciated.
Today’s warriors don’t fight for land or treasure or glory–they fight for you.
As part of their partnership with the USO, Kroger and Procter & Gamble P&G have created an opportunity to let consumers 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. 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.