Military Homecoming Video Touches Half a Million Viewers

Emotional Reunions Are Happy Endings to Eckrich/Operation Homefront Efforts

Jul 30, 2012, 08:57 ET from Eckrich

LISLE, Ill., July 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Everyone loves a happy ending.  That sentiment is proving true with a popular online video that pays tribute to American military families and their emotional reunions.  The two-minute tribute, created by Eckrich® in support of Operation Homefront, has already surpassed half a million views on YouTube since its June 5 release.  The video is set to the music of Iron and Wine's rendition of "Love Vigilantes" by New Order.

Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, partnered this year with Operation Homefront, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides emergency financial assistance to the families of United States service members and wounded warriors.  Through the partnership, Eckrich donated a portion of every purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4 to Operation Homefront, up to $200,000. Representatives from Eckrich presented Operation Homefront with a $200,000 check at a ceremony at the Operation Homefront Village in San Antonio, Texas, on April 28.

"We have been overwhelmed by the response and support of the online video that highlights military family homecomings," said Charles Gitkin, vice president, marketing, innovation and R&D for the John Morrell Food Group.  "This was an effort for us to show our appreciation to Operation Homefront and our military families.  It's been wonderful to see so many others who have joined us in this support.  We can only hope this video can touch more people and continue to make a difference and bring recognition to an amazing organization."

The partnership is supported with a broader Eckrich marketing campaign that features television, radio, online and outdoor advertising, as well as using Facebook to showcase military families with "meet-a-family" videos and stories.

The efforts of Eckrich to support Operation Homefront extended recently to the NASCAR world, where Eckrich has a partnership with the No. 43 Ford of Richard Petty Motorsports.  The three organizations are coming off a weekend of successfully raising awareness in Indianapolis, Ind., where they recognized a local military family with a surprise visit from No. 43 Eckrich Ford driver Aric Almirola.  The partnering organizations also unveiled a specially designed coin bank, made out of a real racing tire, on June 29 at Kentucky Speedway to encourage fans to donate spare change for the campaign.  The bank is traveling to other Eckrich-sponsored races this summer – a schedule that included Indianapolis this past weekend and Michigan International Speedway on August 19.

"We can't thank Eckrich enough for everything they have already done to support Operation Homefront," said Amy Palmer, chief operating officer of Operation Homefront.  "We continue to hear great feedback about the online video.  It's a tribute to our military families that over half a million people have already viewed this feature and we hope it only continues to spread."

After watching the tribute video on YouTube, viewers are encouraged to visit and "like" the Eckrich Facebook page to see more videos and stories and to learn additional ways that they can support American military families.

Watch the video at

About John Morrell Food Group
With over a century and a half of experience, John Morrell Food Group brands have become respected and well known for providing premium-quality meat products to families across the United States. With products ranging from lunchmeat and franks to smoked sausage, bacon and pepperoni, the John Morrell Food Group is an important part of consumers' mealtimes. The John Morrell Food Group offers several national and regional brands including Armour®, Eckrich®, John Morrell®, Curly's®, Patrick Cudahy®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Margherita® Kretschmar® and LunchMakers®.

About Eckrich 
Founded by Peter Eckrich in 1894, Eckrich has a rich heritage starting from a small meat market in Fort Wayne, Ind. Through it all, Eckrich meats have been recognized for their great taste and supreme quality, craftsmanship, care and pride. For more information, visit

About Operation Homefront
A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers, with nationwide presence, and has met more than 590,000 needs of military families since 2002. A four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator, nationally, 94 percent of total revenue donated to Operation Homefront goes directly to assist service members. More information is available at         

About Richard Petty Motorsports
A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports, co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneurs Andrew Murstein and Douglas Bergeron, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. With a history of over 200 wins and business partnerships with national and global leaders, today the race operation fields two teams in competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Aric Almirola pilots the famous No. 43 Ford Fusion with primary partners Smithfield Foods, U.S. Air Force and STP and Marcos Ambrose drives the No. 9 machine with primary partners Stanley and DEWALT. In addition, Michael Annett wheels the No. 43 Pilot Flying J Ford Mustang full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The team is headquartered in Concord, N.C.

SOURCE Eckrich