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Serving our country is often a family tradition. If you and at least two other members of your family (father, grandfather, mother, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc) have served in our US Armed Forces, Operation Homefront and Outback Steakhouse invite you to apply to attend a once-in-a-lifetime VIP experience in Chicago.

 – Were you inspired by your military family members, or have you inspired others to enlist?

– Do you have generations of Active, Guard, Reserves and/or retired military members in your family that you would like to bring together to honor?

– Do you have a story about you and your family’s service that you would like to share?

If you are a military family or veteran and have at least two other family members that have or are serving, you are eligible to enter.  You, and one of your inspiring family members, must be available to travel between 5/23 and 5/25. For local families in Chicago that don’t need to travel, you will need to be available on 5/24 only.

This special event will be held in Chicago, Friday, May 24, 2013.  It’s a secret, but a special guest will join honorees for this luncheon!

We will select 10 honorees (and the inspiring military family member’s guests) to receive this special VIP package.  Five of the honorees must be from the Chicago area and up to five can be flown from anywhere in the Continental United States.  Air travel and lodging will be provided free of charge to the honorees and family members.

Entries accepted through April 24.

militarymates1

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Thanks to everyone who chimed in to get a shot at Tim McGraw VIP tickets. The winner is…(where’s my emoticon for a drum roll?)

Barbara.

Here’s why: She’s still trying to make up for last year’s Father’s Day debacle. Last year, she surprised DH with two tickets to a concert in Atlanta. She found a hotel, got a babysitter, made all the arrangements for a fabulous couple’s getaway. But two weeks before the concert, the Marine Corps announced other plans for Joe. He was headed to South America instead, and he had to leave within hours of the concert.

“Needless to say, the Marine Corps always wins, and we canceled the hotel and chalked the non-refundable tickets up to bad luck,” she said.

She’s also missing out on her Mother’s Day props; Joe will be on duty this Sunday.

So they’ll have a delayed celebration for last year’s Father’s Day and this year’s Mother’s Day, but a pre-party for their wedding anniversary, which is just a few days after the concert May 13.

As always with any contests we offer, I wish I had more to give. We only had two concert tickets, but we’ll be sending some goodies to the other folks who chimed in. Thanks again for participating.

And thanks to Outback Steakhouse and Tim McGraw for making this possible. Earlier this year, Outback pledged $1 million to Operation Homefront so we can continue to help military families in need. Special events like this make for priceless memories for our families who serve so selflessly.

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Tim McGraw and Outback have offered military members VIP tickets to Tim's shows. We appreciate their generosity.

The week is off to a great start when I have more goodies to give out.

Our friends at Outback Steakhouse and country superstar Tim McGraw have offered us two VIP tickets to Tim’s concert next Thursday, May 13 in North Charleston, S.C. We can’t supply travel, so you need to either be local or willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

Here’s what we need to know to select our winner:

How does Tim’s music help you get through deployments? Tell us in the comments section of this blog in 20 words or fewer.

Reminder: Operation Homefront serves active duty military/guard/Reserve and wounded warriors. So our winner has to be enrolled in DEERS, on TRDL or a recently separated wounded warrior/WW dependent; we’ll ask for proof of status. Prizes are awarded at our sole discretion.

We’ll take comments through 3 p.m. MT on Tuesday, May 4.

We’re so proud to count Outback and Tim among our supporters. They truly are committed to giving back and helping military families in need.

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