My Made In America

This past week my family and I embarked on a new journey. One that has always been something near and dear to my heart.

Buying only American made products.

You think...that in reality, everything must be made in China right?

Well. Theoretically.

But not reality.

My reality has been so much different than I expected.

A lot of it stems from my childhood, my parents and how I was raised.

My dad was a Green Beret in the Vietnam war. He was an 82nd Airborne Paratrooper. The stories I have heard about the Army's Elite and how they were trained to fight for our country makes me quiver. I know there is no way on God's green Earth that I could do what he did.

But you see. Even though my dad served our country with dignity and honor. He didn't have a choice. He was drafted. And dropping everything to go off to war was his way of life. He knew no other.

My mom tells me stories about when the troops returned home after putting their lives on the line.... protestors did the unthinkable in my eyes.

My dad got SPIT ON. Spit on by hatefilled people protesting the war. What the? Who does that???

My dad sat through horrific experiences because he HAD TO so that these hippy punks could lay around-smoke pot-and THINK they speak philosophically. I gotta tell ya. If I was more than a 'twinkle' in my parents eyes and was THERE as my dad got SPIT on by these a$$holes? I'd have probably been arrested.

My father had to carry on with grace and dignity and he inturn carried his American pride to his children.

I will take to my grave the many memories of him every Christmas getting socks, peanuts and work shirts. But you better believe it the first things out of his mouth was "Are these American made?".

It was instilled in my sisters and I hearts the importance of giving back to this country for our freedoms.

Here we are... how many years later and we are so living in this matrix world where life is so busy that we jump from smartphone to laptop to iPads, name it. We get so caught up in our own fast paced lives that so many of us Americans 'forget' how we afforded that Lexus or Louis Handbag. We forget of the Veterans living under bridges because they can't survive the PTSD. We forget the single mom who worked in a factory for 25 years to support her children who is now struggling to put food on the table because her job moved to Mexico.

Middle America is so often forgotten. I know. Cause I am one at heart. I now live on the East Coast...and I see the rat race. Heck, I'd be lying if I said I didn't jump in the matrix and live it at times.

This week, I've been doing little video vignettes of my findings for my family: Made in America.

It's been an eye opener. An experience I'll never forget.

Monday morning, July 2nd at 9a ET I am a GUEST on the Kathie Lee and Hoda show talking about my experience.

I'm beyond excited about this opportunity. I mean, who wouldn't be? But it has been an awakening for me.

It's brought me back to some of the deeply planted roots that my family taught me.

Roots that needed watering.

So what if I didn't buy that sweater. Or get my kid bananas. So what if we kind of 'had to do without'.

I challenge you, as an see things the way they really are. Before you buy that Made in China whatever...before you purchase that whatever it is... think about it. Is it worth it? Is there one you can find made in America? Research shows if we spend $5 towards American made a month, our country would have nearly 200,000 more jobs! That job could be your moms. Your brothers. Your cousins.

Your fathers.

Tomorrow at the break of dawn, I'm wrapping up my Vignette series for the Today Show by SEEING our country in an American Made experience. I'm going up in a hot air balloon (again) with the US Hot Air Balloon a basket & balloon made in Michigan. And when I'm up there? I can assure you I'll look at this country with a twinkling in my eye...knowing what I know now.