Posted On Sunday, April 24, 2011
They say you can't understand a soldier until you walk a mile in his shoes. Country music singer Granger Smith decided to walk 100 miles in Bates combat boots from The Boot Campaign. He left Oak Hill in Southwest Austin Easter Sunday for Fort Hood in Killeen. He plans to raise awareness for U.S. troops.“I wanted to show there are other ways than to write a check, explained Smith. “I wanted to get out and make a physical sacrifice on my body and to prove a point to raise awareness, raise moral and raise patriotism.
He says his is only a small sacrifice compared to the ultimate sacrifices men and women in uniform make every day.“They don't have holidays and they don't have breaks,” he said. “They work 24/7 so we can have cool lives.”Smith has never served but always felt a strong connection and dedication to the military. He and his band have played for the troops in Iraq and Kuwait three times. Each time they have come away with a greater appreciation.“We want to encourage people to go out and thank a soldier,” Smith said. “It's not about raising money it's just about raising moral.”
The 31 year old Round Rock resident has partnered with the Texas-based Boot Campaign for the trek. He is calling this the "Sleeping on the Interstate" tour. The campaign, which encourages civilians to wear combat boots in a show of solidarity for the military, gives 100 percent of its proceeds to charities that assist veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries. His journey will take five days ending Thursday with a free concert. Boot Girl Mariae joined him as he left Austin, TX on Easter Sunday and Boot Girl Heather will join him April 28th on his final six mile journey to Fort Hood.
Granger Smith with Boot Girl Mariae
Bates style E02250 Desert Tactical Sport Boot
Posted On Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Granger Smith is 'Sleeping On the Interstate'
Texas Country Hitmaker to Trek From Austin to Ft. Hood for the Troops
Austin, Texas -- Texas Country hitmaker Granger Smith will literally be 'Sleeping On the Interstate' when he walks 100 miles in combat boots from South Austin to the Ft. Hood military post in Killeen, as a means to show support for the troops on the front lines, those at home, and those remembered.
Smith and his crew will go foot-for-foot starting Easter Sunday, April 24, beginning a trek from the 'Y' in Oak Hil where the U.S. 290 and SH 71 highways intersect, and walking until they reach Ft. Hood on April 28. That same day, Smith will perform an intimate acoustic concert open to all soldiers, families, and civilians at 5 p.m. at Killeen's Legends Pub.
"They say you can't understand a soldier until you walk a mile in their shoes, so I decided to walk 100 miles in their boots," Smith says of the idea. He adds, "It's a small sacrifice on me to symbolize the ultimate sacrifice they make for us and our way of life everyday. It's our American duty as civilians to outwardly show our patriotism and our appreciation for our freedom fighters. The Boot Campaign is built on that purpose and so is this journey. For that reason I encourage anyone in the area to come and join us; even just for part of the trek. Let's not just stand up for our military, let's move miles for them."
The Boot Campaign will provide the singer with a pair of Bates combat boots, just like the soldiers wear, which he will sport along his route as an additional nod to the hardworking military. The Boot Campaign -- which boasts "an easy and tangible way for Americans to show support of our troops (both past and present) that’s practical and directly benefits our military" -- gives 100% of its proceeds to charities who assist vets dealing with PTSD and physical injuries.
This is not the first time that Smith has stepped to the forefront for the military -- the Corps-of-Cadets-member-turned-Texas-country-staple has taken three tours overseas to Kuwait and Iraq to play special shows for the troops stationed there.
Shiner Beers, Killeen's Freedom Jeep Chrysler and Dodge Country will back the event as sponsors. Likewise, KVET's Chris Mosser, Katie Key of Best in Texas Magazine and the Texas Music Chart -- as well as the mayors of the surrounding communities and many of Smith's peers in Texas music -- are showing utmost encouragement for the singer's venture.
'Sleeping on the Interstate' will act as the premiere single from Granger Smith's forthcoming album, following an impressive list of previous hits. In 2008, Smith debuted 'Colorblind,' which marched right into the top Top 10. When his 2009 album, 'Don't Listen to the Radio,' dropped, so did five more chart topping hits -- including the title track, 'Gypsy Rain,' 'I Almost Am,' '5 More Minutes,' and 'Superstitious 17.' Now, Smith is back with a fresh from-the-heart record, 'Poets & Prisoners,' which impacts April 12.