Kangaroo Express, a leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States, operated by The Pantry, Inc., today announced the fourth annual Salute Our Troops® campaign, inviting guests in its more than 1,530 Kangaroo Express convenience stores across 13 states to demonstrate united support for military personnel and their families.

From the week before Independence Day through Labor Day, June 25 to Sept. 2, Kangaroo Express will invite store guests to make donations to the campaign at its checkout counters in support of our servicemen and women and their families.

“Considering more than one-third of our employees have a direct connection to the military, supporting our troops means supporting our family,” said Gordon Schmidt, senior vice president of operations, Kangaroo Express. “We are enlisting our team for the fourth consecutive year to show our united appreciation for our nation’s military members and their families, and raise funds to support the organizations dedicated to helping them.”

Donations from the campaign will support the American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces, providing emergency communications, comfort and assistance to military, veterans and their families; Fisher House Foundation, donating “comfort homes” at major military and VA medical centers that enable military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization; the United States Veterans Corps, a corps of military veterans, spouses, dependents and patriotic citizens performing hands on community service with a mission and deployment attitude, as well as six state-based military support organizations.

For the first time, the summer-long initiative introduces Salute Our Troops ‘ROO Rides,’ motorcycle charity rides that will stop at Kangaroo Express locations, local military support organizations, community parks, memorials, and more to drive hometown support and recognize military heroes and families in local communities along its route.

“The first Salute Our Troops ROO Rides, back in 2011, were organically organized by passionate Kangaroo Express store associates and managers in Rome, Georgia and Sanford, North Carolina,” said Schmidt. “Embracing the overwhelming success of these grassroots events and the passion our team has for supporting our U.S. Armed Forces will make ‘ROO Rides’ an integral part of the fourth year of this worthy campaign.”

Since its commencement in 2011, the Salute Our Troops campaign has raised $8.4 million dollars, breaking fundraising records for many of its beneficiary organizations.

The six state-based organizations benefiting from the campaign span five states throughout the Southeast and include the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of Tennessee Auxiliary Soldier Airman Relief Fund, Florida National Guard Foundation, Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund of North Carolina, South Carolina Military Family Care Association, and the USO of North Carolina.

Donations raised during the 2013 Salute Our Troops campaign are helping to build a new Fisher House at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, scheduled to open its doors in 2015, among many other programs. Emergency grant programs run by state-based military support organizations have distributed grants for military families that support a wide range of needs including car payments and medical bills.

PepsiCo, one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies with iconic brands such as Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade and Frito-Lay, is the leading corporate contributor to Kangaroo Express’ fundraising goal for the fourth consecutive year.

“We are proud to join Kangaroo Express in showing our support for troops and their families,” said Chris DeLong, vice president of the Dollar, Drug and Convenience Store Channel for PepsiCo North America Beverages. “This annual campaign continues to allow Kangaroo Express, its guests and PepsiCo to give back to our courageous servicemen and women.”

To view additional Salute Our Troops sponsor partners, including McLane and Red Bull, and for more information about the Salute Our Troops campaign, visit www.KESalute.com.