Soldier's wife offers to shave head for ad
September 15, 2006
Grace Russo is auctioning off her head.<br/><br/>For at least $500, she'll let a company draw its logo or slogan on her noggin - which she will shave - and she'll parade it around Fayetteville for up to five months. Up the bid to at least $100,000, and she'd even tattoo the logo on her scalp.<br/><br/>Russo says she isn't crazy. She is just a patriot and a loving wife who is willing to do anything in her power to ensure that her husband and his unit mates are welcomed as heroes when they return after a year in Afghanistan.<br/><br/>Her goal is to raise at least $2,500, which she plans to donate to the unit's Family Readiness Group. She figures the group will need at least that much to pay for food, drinks and entertainment for the 300 soldiers in her husband's unit.<br/><br/>"Anyone can do a yard sale or a bake sale. Car washes have been done. I'm sick of seeing them," Russo said.<br/><br/>So she has a page on eBay, auctioning off the rights to advertise on her head.<br/><br/>Russo has some conditions: no anti-military slogans and nothing that bashes the United States.<br/><br/>"I have no shame and am very confident in all I do, so if you are an ad executive from Trojan, yes, I would happily walk around with a condom ad on my head," she writes on eBay.<br/><br/>Russo, 31, is a self-proclaimed free spirit with tattoos on one shoulder and both arms. She said her husband, Staff Sgt. James Russo, has become accustomed to the unexpected.<br/><br/>He deployed six months ago with a Fort Bragg engineer unit. And he was not surprised when she e-mailed him the eBay link.<br/><br/>"Sometimes I wonder what is going on in your head," he wrote back.<br/><br/>Russo got the idea for the fundraiser while standing in line at the PX on Fort Bragg. She overhead two soldiers talking in August about a woman with long flowing dark hair walking through the store.<br/><br/>"I'd pay good money to see her head shaved," one of the soldiers said.<br/><br/>She talked about the idea of shaving her head to raise money at a Family Readiness Group meeting in August. The other wives thought the idea sounded good.<br/><br/>Jennifer Scott, a member of the group, said she was shocked at first, but now she's behind the idea.<br/><br/>"Grace is very committed to us," Scott said.<br/><br/>Russo said the unit's command staff didn't like the idea, and she agreed to delete any mention of the unit from the eBay site.<br/><br/>By Monday afternoon, about 1,200 people had viewed the auction page, but no one had bid. Scott, for one, wasn't worried.<br/><br/>"Grace doesn't know how to fail," Scott said. "She will do what ever it takes for our soldiers and their wives."<br/><br/>Staff writer Kevin Maurer can be reached at email@example.com or 486-3587.