HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., June 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of our country's military heroes, Sears today announces the winner of the national Heroes at Home "Portraits of Heroes" song contestwith country music singer and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Josh Gracin. The contest called upon Americans to submit their personal stories about a military hero in their life. The winning entry, selected by Gracin, reflects a military spouse's journey to meet and marry her best friend, his dedication to service and now her commitment to keeping his memory alive with their son. The song, which is based on this powerful story, will be written and recorded by Gracin this month and revealed in a special performance by Gracin at the Operation Support our Troops — America "Rockin' for the Troops" concert in Wheaton, Ill., on July 16.
"I am honored to be a part of such a profound initiative that recognizes our troops and all that they do to protect our country," said Gracin. "As a former military member, I can understand both the hardships families go through and the pride they feel for their loved ones, whether they are currently in combat or retired. Having the opportunity to take someone's personal story and turn it into a song that so many people can relate to is truly special."
With a nearly perfect score, Seana Arrechaga of Clarksville, Tenn., won the hearts of the judges, including Gracin, with her touching story about her husband who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Highlights of her entry include:
"No matter what he was doing, he dedicated 100 percent to getting it done, even in the last few hours of his life. He was too stubborn to let go because he had too much to live for. That right there is what makes him my hero."
"In the 1305 days I had him, he showed me how to live with no regrets and how to love with no limits. He taught me that you have to fight for what's right when no one else will especially when it comes to your family."
The collaboration with Gracin is part of Sears' annual spring donation drive for Heroes at Home, which supports the rehabilitation of homes for veterans and military families across the country. Consumers can continue to support these initiatives through July 31 by making a donation to Heroes at Home in any Sears store nationwide or online at Sears.com/heroesathome.
"The touching stories submitted through the Heroes at Home 'Portraits of Heroes' song contest reminds us of all the strong men and women who serve our country and the families that support them back at home," said David Friedman, SVP and president of Marketing, Sears Holdings. "At Sears, we continually look for ways to improve the lives and homes of our active and veteran soldiers — something we couldn't do without the generous support of our customers and associates."
Now in its fourth year, the Sears Heroes at Home program has raised more than $21 million with Rebuilding Together, the nation's leading nonprofit working to preserve affordable homeownership. These funds have been used to help renovate and rebuild more than 750 homes across the country as part of the Heroes at Home program, which aims to improve American military families' lives by making necessary repairs, improvements or modifications to their homes.
The grand prize winner of the Sears Heroes at Home "Portraits of Heroes" song contest will travel to Nashville later this month to meet with Gracin while he records the song in studio. Additionally, the 10 finalists will receive a personally autographed CD of Gracin's new album, scheduled to come out later this year. A list of the finalists can be found by visiting the "Portraits of Heroes" contest website at www.portraitsofheroessongcontest.com.
For more information or to make a donation to the Sears Heroes at Home program, visit Sears.com/heroesathome.
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq: SHLD) is the nation's fourth largest broadline retailer with over 4,000 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, consumer electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears Holdings is the 2011 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart. We are the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings' website at www.searsholdings.com.
About Rebuilding Together
Rebuilding Together is the nation's leading nonprofit organization working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods by providing extensive rehabilitation and modification services to those in need at no cost to those served. With the help of everyday citizen volunteers, skilled trades people, the support of local business and major corporate partners, Rebuilding Together affiliates in America's largest cities and smallest towns make life considerably better for thousands of low-income homeowners and the communities in which they live by completing 10,000 projects per year. Rebuilding Together has programs dedicated to, energy efficiency, veteran's housing, aging in place and gulf coast reconstruction. For more information, visit www.RebuildingTogether.org. You can also follow Rebuilding Together on Twitter @rebldgtogthr or become a fan on Facebook at Facebook.com/RebuildingTogether.
SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation