Source: Smithfield Foods

Eckrich®, Operation Homefront, Safeway, and Goose Gossage Honor Military Family with a New Car

Colorado Springs Family Surprised with 2017 Ford Fusion

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Sept. 19, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eckrich®, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and perfectly seasoned deli meats, created an incredible experience for a Colorado military family on Monday. During a surprise presentation, the brand partnered with Operation Homefront, Safeway, and 22-year Major League Baseball veteran and Colorado Springs native Goose Gossage to thank the Walter family of Colorado Springs for their service and sacrifice.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

The Walters believed they were invited to the Safeway store to help out with a military appreciation event. Instead, Eckrich and Safeway shared their gratitude for the family’s service by surprising them with a new 2017 Ford Fusion.

During the presentation, Gossage drove the car up and handed Daniel Walter the keys, a gift totaling more than $20,000.

Walter served as a Blackhawk Crew Chief in the U.S. Army for six years. He was deployed overseas from 2004 to 2006, earning several medals and ribbons for his service. He and his wife, Angela, have been married for more than a decade and have two children. Angela is his full-time caregiver and an active member of Operation Homefront’s Hearts of Valor® program, a network of more than 3,000 caregivers of wounded service members which provides annual retreats, support groups, and online communities.

"This brand new car from Eckrich and Safeway will help our family tremendously," said Angela Walter. "Our current car is very old with many miles on it, so this new car will be much safer for our family and bring us some peace of mind."

The surprise is part of the ongoing campaign by Eckrich to honor military families through its partnership with Operation Homefront, now in its sixth year. Eckrich has donated more than $2.5 million to support the organization’s mission of building strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.

“Eckrich takes great pride in honoring our service men and women,” said Michael Baughman, Smithfield Foods director of marketing. “We are grateful for our partnership with Safeway as they continue to support our mission to honor, thank, and support military families. Today, we are proud to surprise the Walter family with a brand new car to thank them for their service and sacrifice.”

For more information about Eckrich, please visit or follow Eckrich on Facebook and Twitter.
Eckrich is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

Gossage pitched for nine different teams during his career, including the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, and San Diego Padres. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008. He now works in broadcasting and remains active in youth sports and the Colorado Springs community.

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, Nathan's Famous, Farmland, Armour, John Morrell, Cook's, Kretschmar, Gwaltney, Curly's, Margherita, Carando, Healthy Ones, Krakus, Morliny and Berlinki. 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
Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, go to

Hannah Meadors
Breaking Limits for Eckrich
2137 South Blvd., Suite 200
Charlotte, N.C. 28203
Cell: 434-250-4770