Many thanks to Cracker Barrel for sponsoring this conversation about Operation Rocker, and allowing me to walk down memory lane.
Hey guys! Did you know that I served for 6 years in the World’s Finest Navy? Well, now you do! I joined shortly after my sister Jessica passed away in 2002, and SHE was also a part of the World’s Finest Navy! She would have been an MP and I just KNOW that she would have laughed her little head off seeing that I joined up too.
You see, I joined out of sadness. The death of my sister was so sudden, she was only 18, that I NEEDED to find a way to stay close to her, and this was it for me. I remember when I first donned my “Popeye” suit – aka – summer whites, and cried like a baby. I was really a sailor, and I was really part of one of the greatest military families ever.
That’s why it was a no-brainer for me to partner with Cracker Barrel during their summer salute to veterans, also known as #OperationRocker under the large umbrella of Operation Homefront. I KNOW that a ton of you have been to Cracker Barrel and sat in those rockers that they have on their front porch. It’s one of the things that we do EVERY time we visit in Decatur, Illinois for church fellowship. The kids love aimlessly rocking back and forth, and I love telling them tales of my service as we wait to be seated. I love knowing that with each rocking chair purchase from now until September 4th (that’s Labor Day folks!) they will donate a rocker to a military family. Last year, they successfully donated more than 700 rocking chairs and they are looking to knock that number out of the park. Help them in their last minute push for it, won’t you?
If that isn’t enough, the kids and I put together a rocker, and decorated it. We were supposed to donate it to a veteran and the kids chose to honor my sister forever in our home. While she can’t physically appreciate the rocking chair, we know that anyone who is allowed to sit in it (hey, I’m a bit choosy with comfortable chairs) will love knowing that this was a way for us to bring a little piece of my sister, Jessica, into my home for good. It still hurts to not have her here with us, but I look forward to sharing more and more about her life with my children the older that they get.
As you can see, their imaginations are pretty centrally focused, and they wanted to stick love all over the rocker. Instead, we thought about my sister’s favorite colors and we ended up painting the rocker a bold purple. It’s royal, and it’s SO her! It’s hard for me to not helicopter craft-parent, but we got it done! Hopefully, you get a chance to stop by my Facebook page to see the live video of what went into building it!
Remember, it’s the LAST BIG PUSH to break last year’s record for #OperationRocker and I would LOVE for some of the extended Houseful Of Nicholes to be the reason that they rock it out.
Since its founding shortly after 9/11, Operation Homefront has served tens of thousands of military families across the country. The organization provides valuable programs addressing short-term and long-term stability. Homes on the Homefront, one program that “Operation Rocker” supports, has awarded nearly 600 mortgage-free homes and provided over $48 million in deeded value to our nation’s veterans and their families.
Every time I look at this rocking chair, I’m going to remember just how proud I am to have served in the World’s Finest Navy, and how blessed I am to have had a sister that would have rocked it out (get it?!) doing the same.
Now what are you waiting for? GO GET ONE OF THOSE ROCKING CHAIRS!!!!