Pepsi’s Rolling Remembrance relay benefits children of fallen service members
Truck driver Thomas Skaggs holds a special American flag at the Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis as part of the PepsiCo Rolling Remebrance driving relay. The cross-country relay, in which drivers use delivery routes to hand off a flag used in Operation Freedom, is a benefit event for the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. (Photo courtesy Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation)
By Rindi White
In honor of Military Appreciation Month, the same company behind Lay’s Potato Chips and Gatorade is holding a coast-to-coast trucking relay to benefit children of our armed forces who have died during service.
The PepsiCo Rolling Remembrance is a nearly 7,000-mile relay from Seattle to White Plains, New York, to benefit the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. PepsiCo started the remembrance relay in 2015.
According to the company, a relay of U.S. military veterans — driving PepsiCo trucks — will use regular business routes to connect at 42 points across the nation. The 39 drivers will hand off an American flag to the next driver at the checkpoints, ensuring that the flag is carried from the west coast to the east. This particular flag was on a UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter during a combat mission in support of U.S. and coalition forces in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan during Operation Freedom in 2012, according to PepsiCo.
The relay began in Seattle on April 24, and the last leg is scheduled to end in White Plains on May 25.
Also during May, PepsiCo is offering limited-edition commemorative Fallen Patriots cans, available wherever Pepsi products are sold. During previous Rolling Remembrance campaigns, PepsiCo and its employees have donated more than $150,000 to support Children of Fallen Patriots.
The foundation hopes to ensure that every military child whose parent died in the line of duty has access to college scholarships and educational counseling. The company seeks to ensure every such child receives all necessary college funding.
According to Children of Fallen Patriots, about 20,000 military children have lost an active-duty parent in the past 35 years. So far, the foundation has raised $16 million and served 790 students. The organization says $500 million is needed to close the gap between government assistance and the cost of a college degree.