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