“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” -Maya Angelou
This year I had the opportunity to work with a team of five other women on a project to raise awareness for our Nation’s wounded warriors. As of Nov. 23, 2009 over 36,000 soldiers were injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Many organizations and government agencies have online resources for wounded warriors including the Wounded Warrior Resource Center (Department of Defense) and the Wounded Warrior Project.
The last time I went to visit my family in South Carolina, I stopped en route at Cracker Barrel, my favorite roadside restaurant. I always like to shop there because I can find cool trinkets and they sell my favorite peanut brittle. What do you ask does Cracker Barrel have to do with wounded warriors? As I walked through the restaurant’s store they were playing a song by country music duo Montgomery Gentry. When the song ended, they made an announcement that Cracker Barrel had teamed with Montgomery Gentry to raise awareness and funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. It turned out that part of the proceeds from Montgomery Gentry’s album For Our Heroes sold in Cracker Barrel will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. Click here to buy a copy online.
Montgomery Gentry consists of Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry. The duo is well known for their philanthropic efforts with the T. J. Martell Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Camp Horsin’ Around, and Farm Aid. Their efforts to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project are part of Montgomery Gentry’s commitment to telling the stories of America’s heroes.
The main objective of the Wounded Warrior Project is to “provide tangible support for the severely wounded and help them on the road to healing, both physically and mentally.” One of their signature projects is the WWP Packs program that delivers backpacks containing care items (clothing, toiletries, calling card, CD player, etc.) to severely wounded warriors arriving at military trauma centers. For more information on the Wounded Warrior project follow them on Twitter or check out their website.
Montgomery Gentry’s commitment to supporting the troops also includes a collaboration with the USO and the Vault for the “The Uniform of Heroes: The Taste of Support” campaign. Since the DOD suspended the “Any Servicemember” mail program, the Vault & USO have come up with a campaign that allows people to send pre-addressed postcards to soldiers. These postcards are available at Vault displays across the nation, Vault fridge packs and MyCokeRewards.com. The campaign provides the postcards and consumers (like you) provide the postage, the messages, and the manpower to drop the cards in the mail.
“These messages will go a long way in bringing comfort and lifting the spirits of our troops, especially those who are a world away from home.” Neil Golson, VAULT Brand Manager, Coca-Cola North America.
On the Montgomery Gentry website, Troy is quoted, “We’re proud to continue the effort to support our U.S. troops, and it’s exciting to partner with VAULT on this important campaign once again. . .VAULT and the USO have created a great way to spread goodwill and offer our thanks to the brave men and women serving our country. We hope thousands of people will get involved again this year.”
As we approach Thanksgiving, supporting the Wounded Warriors Project and the Uniform of Heroes campaign provide us with the two ways to let the our troops know how much we appreciate them.
P.S. Remember “Freedom is Never Free” – Unknown
This blog was originally posted on my blog on music and activism, Song-in-Action.