Newport News, VA,
17:00 PM

Johnsonville Grants Bratsgiving Day Wish To Sister of Soldier

Christmas comes in December. And sometimes in July, when retailers try to spread a little holiday spirit, to keep us in the holiday mood until Christmas rolls around again.

When you’re in the grilling business, why not spread a little Bratsgiving joy?

So we did. What started as a fun, social holiday around National Bratwurst Day on Aug. 16 (that we affectionately renamed “Bratsgiving Day”) culminated in granting a Bratsgiving Day wish that also reunited a brother and sister for an unexpected visit.

The story began in early August, during the “12 Days of Bratsgiving” which ran on Johnsonville’s Facebook page. Johnsonville invited its social media followers to share a Bratsgiving Day kiss with their loved one, view how the Brattender was celebrating this new holiday, reminisce about their first brat experience, and tell us how they might decorate their home for this special holiday. And on the 8th day, we asked them what they wanted most for Bratsgiving Day.

Among the 100-plus responses, Chris Franzen stated that her Bratsgiving wish was to take Johnsonville Brats and a grill, to her brother Travis, who had joined the U.S. Army the day after he graduated from high school in June. Johnsonville decided to grant the Sheboygan, Wisconsin, resident her “Bratsgiving Day” wish by not only sending Johnsonville brats to her brother’s Army base in Virginia, but also bringing Chris along to surprise her brother. After all, holidays aren’t quite the same without family around!

Chris wasn’t able to attend her brother’s boot camp graduation and was sad that her brother celebrated his 18th birthday without any family around. So she was especially excited to see and talk with him about his first five months in the Army.

Johnsonville delivered the brats this fall – via the 65-foot Johnsonville Big Taste Grill – in a surprise visit that he had no idea also involved his sister visiting him on base. After realizing his sister was the one serving him his brats over his lunch break, he politely asked his superior’s permission to hug his sister. They embraced for a long time, processing the event that just unfolded. Travis then downed eight Johnsonville brats – enjoying every morsel that reminded him of backyard cookouts and special occasions with his family back home in Wisconsin. About 1,200 other soldiers and military staff also enjoyed a Wisconsin tradition – grilled brats under a beautiful blue sky.

“I told my brother that on every Bratsgiving Day, no matter where he is, I will send him Johnsonville Brats and Sheboygan hard rolls,” said Chris. “This has truly become a holiday we will recognize. I’m speechless. It was so wonderful to see my brother and bring a little Sheboygan to him. And I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Johnsonville will join Chris and her brother, and thousands of others as it plans to recognize Bratsgiving Day again in 2015.

In the meantime, get out your grill and share a little Bratsgiving Day spirit with your family and friends!

Note: Neither the U.S. Army nor any part of the Federal Government officially endorses Johnsonville or any company, sponsor or their products or services.

This has truly become a holiday we will recognize.
Chris Franzen, Sheboygan, Wis.
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