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NSCS: Eckrich Surprises Military Family with Honeymoon They Never Had

NASCAR Star Aric Almirola Helps Eckrich Honor Local Military Family


LISLE, Ill. (March 13, 2015) – Army Reserve Soldier Cory Strouth and his wife Laura wanted to take their dream honeymoon but couldn’t afford it two years ago when they wed. Now, after a special surprise from Eckrich and NASCAR star Aric Almirola, the couple will be able to fulfill that dream, and more.


Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, and Almirola, shocked the Strouth family Friday morning after driving up in his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Eckrich racecar in front of an Albertsons in Phoenix, Arizona. Almirola jumped out, thanked the military family for their sacrifice and announced Eckrich will provide them with the opportunity to have their dream honeymoon of an all-expenses-paid Alaskan Cruise. On their way to Alaska, the family will spend a VIP race weekend in Napa Valley and attend the race in Sonoma, California.


Moments later, Danny Semerjibashian of Albertsons presented the Strouth family with one-year of free groceries on behalf of Eckrich. Finally, the day wouldn’t be complete without Almirola inviting them to Sunday’s race at the Phoenix International Raceway as guests of Eckrich, this week’s primary sponsor of the legendary No. 43.


The morning of surprises for the parents of three young children is part Eckrich’s ongoing effort to honor, thank and give back to military families through their partnership with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors.


“We are committed to honoring and supporting military families across the country,” said Charles Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. “This is a special program for Eckrich and we’re proud to partner with Operation Homefront, Aric Almirola and Albertsons to give back to the Strouth family today in Phoenix.”


For Almirola, it’s another opportunity for him to give back to his military roots.


“My father served in the U.S. Air Force so I grew up in a military family,” said Almirola. “When I’m invited to be a part of Eckrich in honoring our military families, I take a lot of pride in it because I understand the sacrifices they make. And, now that I’m a father of two young children myself, it’s even more meaningful. This is something great that Eckrich does and I’m happy for the Strouth family today.”


Cory and his wife are parents of a five-year-old girl, four-year-old boy and a one-year-old boy. Cory is a member of the Texas National Guard and has long served our country.

“We’re really thankful for everything that Eckrich, Aric Almirola and Operation Homefront have done for us today,” commented Cory. “It means a lot when people take time to say ‘thanks’ for serving. Today is really wonderful for us and it’s a day we won’t forget.”

Eckrich is in its fourth year of partnership with Operation Homefront and has already donated more than $750,000 to the charity since 2012.

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 $14 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®, Gwaltney®, John Morrell®, Kretschmar®, Curly’s®, Carando®, Margherita®, 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 Richard Petty Motorsports

A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports, co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneur Andrew Murstein, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. With a history of over 200 wins and business partnerships with national and global leaders, today the race operation fields two teams in competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Aric Almirola pilots the famous No. 43 Ford Fusion with primary partners Smithfield Foods, U.S. Air Force, STP, Strike Ten Entertainment and Fresh From Florida, and Sam Hornish Jr. drives the No. 9 machine with primary partners Medallion Bank and Twisted Tea. In addition, Dakoda Armstrong wheels the No. 43 WinField Ford Mustang full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The team is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C.

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 total donations to Operation Homefront go directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go


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