INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— Video courtesy Eckrich and Operation Homefront charity.
A special military family got the surprise of a lifetime this weekend outside of Indiana Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400 weekend.
Veteran Christopher Hill, his wife and caregiver Kristina and their five children were happy to receive tickets to the big race from Eckrich and the non-profit charity Operation Homefront.
That excitement, however, turned to a tearful surprise when Nascar legend Richard Petty showed up.
“It’s great to work with companies like we do here with Smithfield and Eckrich to be able to give back to the community, and give especially to our armed forces people and stuff, so it’s good to work with those kind of people and it’s good to give and see what all they’ve done, and this is just a little bit, we can’t do everybody, so we just have to pick out some people.”
The king teamed up with Eckrich to present the Hill family with keys to a new Ford F-150 truck filled with tailgating supplies and a year’s worth of free groceries from Eckrich and Kroger.
Hill was so excited he fell to his knees when Petty handed him the keys.
“I’m so thankful for Operation Homefront and what my wife does. I can’t thank her enough for what the family does for me. I wish I could have everyone here who serves in a uniform, I really really do. This is amazing and to have this bestowed upon us I can’t thank you enough.”
Hill served for 15 years and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Aric Almirola is the Nascar driver of Petty Motorsports car #43. He was born on a military base and grew up in a military family.
“It’s so awesome to be able to give back to military families in really special ways like this, above and beyond the fact that Kroger gave them free groceries and we gave them a whole tailgating setup to be able to tailgate and grill out some Eckrich smoked sausage. We gave them a new Ford F150 and it’s a really cool way to be able to say thank you.”
The Hill family surprise was provide by Eckrich, which has donated more than $2.5 million to the Operation Homefront charity in the past five years.