Eckrich, Operation Homefront and Country Music Star Randy Houser Honor San Antonio Military Family

LISLE, Ill., Feb. 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats and a brand of Smithfield Foods, partnered with H-E-B and Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, to honor a San Antonio military family today. Joining them for this surprise event was a special guest: platinum-selling country music star Randy Houser.

Randy Houser, Center, presents military family Stephen and Claudia Hamilton, Left, with Free Groceries for One Year from Eckrich

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

The Hamilton family was invited to a special luncheon at H-E-B. At the event, Houser surprised the family with free groceries for one year at H-E-B, courtesy of Eckrich, as well as tickets to his concert at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo this evening.

Together, Eckrich and Houser have been partnering to honor U.S. military families since 2014. Houser -- whose numerous hits include his three No. 1 singles “How Country Feels,” “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” and “Goodnight Kiss” and the critically-acclaimed Top 5 smash, “Like A Cowboy” – will release his fourth studio album, Fired Up, on March 11. The 17-song project follows Houser’s breakthrough album, How Country Feels, and features his current Top 5-and-climbing single, “We Went.”

“It’s been really cool to work with Eckrich and Operation Homefront to give back to our military families these past two years,” said Houser. “They’ve sacrificed so much so that we have the freedom to do what we love and go out and entertain people every night, so I’m very humbled and grateful for the opportunity to give back and hopefully make their lives a little bit easier with these gifts.”

As a sergeant in the U.S. Army, Stephen Hamilton was a flight medic with the 10th CAB but broke his neck during a mission in Afghanistan in 2013. He and his wife, Claudia, have three sons, and the eldest is continuing the family tradition as an army soldier.

“We are a family that is proud to serve our country, but today we’re really thankful for Eckrich, H-E-B and Operation Homefront to take time and thank us,” said Stephen. “It was special to have Randy Houser here with Eckrich and present us with free groceries. We didn’t ask for anything, but it’s nice to see people who care about our military families.”

The surprise is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor, thank and support military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront and their Hearts of Valor® program. Hearts of Valor is a network of people caring for wounded, ill or injured service members. Operation Homefront supports these caregivers in their own journey of healing by facilitating an online community that provides social connections to other caregivers in similar situations, fostering support groups by geographic area to encourage resource sharing and friendships, and sponsoring annual retreats to provide education on relevant issues.

Eckrich, entering the fifth year of partnership with Operation Homefront, has surpassed $2 million in donations since 2012.

“Eckrich is proud to continue to support Operation Homefront and our military families again this year,” said Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. “We also appreciate the support of both our partners Randy Houser and H-E-B as we continue in our mission to thank and support military families across the country. We thank the Hamilton family and are proud to present them with one year of free groceries.”

For more information about Eckrich, please visit

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 Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Farmland®, Armour®, Cook's®, John Morrell®, Gwaltney®, Nathan's Famous®, Kretschmar®, Margherita®, Curly's®, Carando® and Healthy Ones®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit

About Operation Homefront
A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has provided assistance to thousands of military families since its inception in 2002. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity watchdog groups, nationally, 92 percent of Operation Homefront’s expenditures go directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to

About Randy Houser
With an inimitable voice the New York Times describes as “wholly different, thicker and more throbbing, a caldron bubbling over,” Randy Houser racked up three consecutive No. 1 hits and more than four million in singles sales to date with his Stoney Creek Records album, How Country Feels. He topped the charts with the title track, “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” and “Goodnight Kiss” (also his first No. 1 as a songwriter) and earned critical acclaim for his powerful delivery of the Top 5 smash and CMA Song of the Year-nominated "Like A Cowboy." Houser’s new Mediabase Top 5-and-climbing single, “We Went,” is the first release from his fourth studio album, Fired Up, which drops March 11, 2016 via Stoney Creek Records. For tour dates and more information, visit or follow on Twitter @RandyHouser and

Contacts: Jeff Dennison Breaking Limits for Eckrich 2137 South Blvd., Suite 200 Charlotte, N.C. 28203 Direct: 704-766-9061 Cell: 704-252-3356 E-Mail: Media Contacts for Randy Houser Ebie McFarland / Stephanie Rew Essential Broadcast Media P.O. Box 120921 Nashville, TN 37212 Direct: 615-327-3259 E-Mail: /

Source:Smithfield Foods