“Don’t judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes.” We all grow up hearing the cliché, but few of us ever put it to the test. For the fourth straight year, Granger Smith got his boots on and hit the road to support the Boot Campaign in our mission to cultivate awareness, promote patriotism and provide assistance to military personnel, past and present, and their families. Beginning Sunday, May 4, Granger set out on his 100-mile journey from Austin to Fort Hood, Texas, and for the next four days, he put one boot in front of the other to show gratitude to the men and women who protect our freedom.
Day one began bright and early in Austin, where Granger and his team set off for the day. The first and last sections of the walk were open for the public to join in, and the positive energy radiating from the group was palpable. For nearly a week, Granger and his crew walked all day, stopping only for lunch breaks to rest and reconnect with fans and supporters. Local favorites Torchy’s Tacos, Smokey Mo’s barbeque and Sure Fire Tacos and Tortilla Grill were the hosts for the public lunch stops for the team, providing food and fun for the travelers and visitors. After lunch at Sun Fire on day five, they set off for their final destination: Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. After walking 100 miles in five days, the smiling faces of fans and Boot Campaign staffers at the Main Gate were a welcome sight!
With little time to waste, Granger and crew headed over to Wild Country in Harker Heights for the post-walk concert celebration. Military service men and women were admitted free to the show, which featured performances by Earl Dibbles, Jr., William Clark Green, Josh Grider, Brian Keane, Cody Bryan, Aces Up, Kimberly Dunn and, of course, Granger Smith! The concert went on for more than four hours with the crowd of more than 500 loving every minute of the patriotic party, but one of the most emotional moments came when Boot Campaign’s own Brandi Hodge presented Joshua and Raylene Gill with a handicap-accessible, full-size van. Amidst the many tears and hugs, the inspirational moments left no dry eye in the house! The presentation couldn’t have come at a better time for the Gill Family, who desperately needed a larger accessible vehicle for transporting their severely handicapped 12-year-old daughter.
In addition to the emotional giveaway, Boot Campaign was thrilled to partner with Circuit of the Americas (COTA) to offer FREE RedFest vouchers to military attendees! The mostly-service-member crowd jumped at the chance to attend the first annual festival featuring Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Granger Smith and many, many more artists over Memorial Day weekend in Austin. COTA handed out 3,000 ticket vouchers to happy military families!
But the best news of all? Granger Smith’s Fourth Annual Boot Walk brought awareness for our country’s military men and women and raised nearly $30,000 for the Boot Campaign! With those funds, the Boot Campaign can continue to serve veterans and military families after they have served all of us. You can make a difference for our nation’s heroes just like Granger and the many supporters of Boot Walk 2014: visit www.bootcampaign.com and get started!