Today is National Donut Day. Many donut places are giving out FREE DONUTS. For example, Dunkin Donuts will give you a classic donut with the purchase of any beverage. I think I'm going to go with a Frozen Dunkin coffee and enjoy my favorite Boston Kreme Donut.

Maybe you're asking yourself, is this a made-up holiday like Mother's Day? The answer is no and the story goes back exactly a hundred years ago.

In 1917, a Salvation Army lassie handed a fresh doughnut to a homesick doughboy in France. Ever since then the Salvation Army doughnut has stood for loving concern for those in the armed forces.

Helen Purviance, an ensign in the Salvation Army, was sent to France to work with the American First Division. She and a fellow officer, Ensign Margaret Sheldon began making donuts to give to the soldiers.

They cheered the doughnuts and soon referred to them as the “doughnut girls,” even when they baked apple pies or other treats. The famous donut has stood for loving concern and readiness to help in time of need.

Today the Salvation Army Red Shield Clubs and USO units offer members of the Armed Forces many services from recreational facilities to family counseling. In the Southern Tier, the Salvation Army is breaking ground for a new community center and in August they are having a Bikers For Backpacks Motorcycle Rally.

So thank you Salvation Army....Not only for everything that you do for us but for giving us an awesome reason to eat a donut today.

[via The Salvation Army]