ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - It was a red, white and blue day at Kangaroo Express in St. Martin, Monday. From the balloons, to the flags, to the cake. The convenience store chain is promoting its two month long "Salute the Troops" caravan campaign.
The money is used to help returning troops with medical and other needs. The salute is very personal for some employees, like Jodi Priddy. Her daughter serves.
"She enlisted last year. She's full active Army. She just got stationed in Korea right before Christmas, so it's coming on a year since I've see her. So this whole thing really hits home," Priddy said.
Other employees, like Dale Jones, are veterans themselves. This kind of tribute means a lot to them.
"I served in the Army and got home in the mid-70s. There were no ticker tape parades for any of the soldiers coming home," Jones recalled. "They could have cared less if we came home. It's such a treat to be on a tour like this to really show appreciation to the guys and girls overseas now that are fighting for our country."
Rob Steinberg, media coordinator for the campaign, said there's a simple reason for the company's dedication to the troops.
"Fifty percent of all Kangaroo Express locations are within 25 miles of a military base," Steinberg said. "So a rather large amount of their customer base is either people who are in the military, military families, or friends of people who are in the military. So this is Kangaroo Express's way of giving back to the community that has given so much to them."
On the topic of giving, he said the goal this year is large.
"Last year, we made $2.5 million, and this year we hope to really surpass that."
The Salute our Troops campaign will run through Labor Day, traveling through six southern states.