Tour of duty

Published 10:58 pm Thursday, July 28, 2011

Support the Troops tour stops in Suffolk

A fully-restored antique military jeep will make stops at three Suffolk gas stations tomorrow as part of a tour through Hampton Roads to rally support for the troops.

The tour is part of the Salute Our Troops campaign sponsored by Kangaroo Express to raise funds and awareness for charities that help military members and their families — USO and the Wounded Warrior Project.

The 1952 Willys CJ-3 jeep will be on display tomorrow at the Wilroy Road location from 8 to 10 a.m., the West Washington Street store from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Pruden Boulevard shop from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

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Randy Byers, Kangaroo regional sales director, said the company started the Salute Our Troops campaign in late May to raise $1 million for the charities.

“We just felt, as a company, supporting our troops was a good thing to launch onto,” he said.

Byers said more than half of Kangaroo’s 1,650 stores are located near military installations, and the company felt it was a cause that had a big impact on its customers.

When the stores reached their $1 million goal before the end of the campaign, the company decided to extend the goal to raise $2 million by Labor Day.

Byers said Hampton Roads seemed like a great location for tour stops because there is such a heavy military influence throughout the area.

“I think the Hampton Roads area is just natural with all the military installations there,” he said.

Tim McGinn, a member of the jeep tour crew, said he and crew member Drew Stipe park it in front of the store to attract the attention of people heading into the store. When people ask why they are there, he gets an opportunity to discuss the cause and why it’s important to support military men and women.

In addition to checking out the jeep, people are invited to record video messages to military members serving overseas.

“They’re the ones over there sacrificing for us,” McGinn said.

Byers said he hopes people will donate because it is a great way to support the military.

“There’s no better way to show our support and what the military does than donations to organizations that support them,” he said.

After the jeep visits Suffolk, it will travel to Yorktown, Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

For more information on the Kangaroo’s Salute Our Troops campaign, visit