I have been a military dependent for most of my life. If it hadn’t been for the Air Force sending a young country boy to Italy, I wouldn’t even exist. The same is true for my husband, whose parents met when his father was stationed in the Phillipines. My husband went on to serve in the US Navy, while my brother continued our family’s military tradition by flying in the Air Force. Having experienced the sacrifices families make when a loved one is deployed, I truly appreciate the efforts made by Marie Callender’s to bring the comforts of home to our troops.

My husband, brother, and father.

Deployments are expected and a way of life in the military. While they are challenging, it’s something that comes with the job. As a spouse, the stress and worry that comes with a deployment is never easy. You stay as busy as possible, lean on family and friends for support, and count down the days till your loved one comes home. Homecoming is, obviously, the best part of a deployment. Here is one of my recent personal favorite homecoming pictures: when my brother came home last month from deployment. He left while his wife was pregnant with their first child, and returned home to meet his daughter for the first time. We are all thrilled to have him safely home and reunited with his family.

My brother’s homecoming:  meeting his daughter for the first time!

As hard as it is for the spouse, parents, and children to wait out a deployment, it is infinitely harder for the service member. Far from the comforts of home, in remote or dangerous locations, our service members often have to rely on us stateside to keep them comfortable and connected. That’s where Marie’s Comforts From Home program is stepping up to help our service members. Every code you enter from a specially marked package of Marie Callender’s meals or desserts is turned into a donation to USO2GO, a USO program that brings electronics, sports gear, books, and more to troops stationed in remote locations.

The welcome at the airport.

In addition to making donations, Marie Callender’s is co-hosting a special program on Veteran’s Day, November 11. Be sure to have your tissues ready for this one! “A Hero’s Welcome” will welcome one special soldier back to their family on national television. Tune in and share in their joy! Hosted by Gary Sinise, Robert Irvine, and Genevieve Gorder, this heartwarming event will showcase surprising ways that the comforts of home are being sent to our troops.

As a dependent who has experienced first hand the stresses of deployments and the exhilaration of homecoming, I will definitely be tuning in to “A Hero’s Welcome” on November 11th. I’ve already started stocking up on my favorite Marie Callender’s products, too, and entering the codes online. Join in and make the holidays a bit happier for our troops!

Tune-in as Marie Callender’s, the USO and an army of experts from food, home and travel provide the comforts of home as only Marie Callender’s can, in a truly heartwarming homecoming you’ll always remember.

“A Hero’s Welcome” will welcome one special soldier back to their family in a national television event airing on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2014. The one-hour TV special will air across a range of your favorite networks including HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, DIY Channel, and Great American County.

I have been selected by Tap Influence to be a spokesperson for Marie Callender’s While I have been compensated for my time, my opinions are my own.

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