Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Kangaroo Express stores in Georgetown and Charleston counties have raised about $20,000 this summer to help support U.S. troops overseas, as part of the “Salute the Troops” program.
The public added more than $1,000 to that total Tuesday during a “Salute the Troops” event at the Kangaroo store at the corner of St. James Street and Highway 17 in Georgetown.
Kangaroo Express stores in 14 states have raised $1.7 million this year. Their goal is $2 million, the same as was raised last year, officials said.
The money raised goes to the S.C. National Guard, the United Service Organizations (USO) and the Wounded Warrior Project.
Kangaroo Express District Sales Manager David Cameron, Store Manager Peggy Burgoon and SSG Tommy Rieman, military advisor for Salute Our Troops, attended the event Tuesday.
Cameron, who raised $150 by agreeing to a “soak the boss” challenge to his employees, said he is very proud of the generosity of Kangaroo customers.
“Instead of asking for donations at the counter, we advised our staff to request that people leave their change,” Cameron said.
“People have been very willing to do that. And the money raised in Georgetown County will serve Georgetown County troops.”
Rieman, a U.S. Army Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient, has been on the road since June, stopping at more than 210 locations for military-themed events.
He asks that people visit the Salute the Troops website at kesalute.com to find out more and to see how much money is being raised.
“People can even send free military shout outs to troops overseas,” Rieman said.
Kangaroo Express stores will continue to accept donations.
About the three organizations
The National Guard serves both state and federal governments, according to the official website.
The difference between the Guard and other branches is that while Guard units are combat-trained and can be deployed overseas, they are just as likely to serve in their home communities — training just one weekend per month, and one two-week period each year.
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families, according to the official website.
A nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations to support its activities.
The USO is not part of the U.S. government, but is recognized by the Department of Defense, Congress and President of the United States, who serves as honorary chairman of the USO.
The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower warriors wounded in battle, according to the official website.
Its purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.
WWP’s vision is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in our nation’s history.
By Clayton Stairs