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PepsiCo honors military heroes with coast-to-coast relay, ‘Rolling Remembrance,’ ahead of Memorial Day

Headquartered in Purchase, New York, PepsiCo is honoring America's military and veterans through a "Rolling Remembrance" initiative that has carried the American flag cross-country.

With Memorial Day approaching quickly, many American companies have created and are rolling out initiatives both to honor employees who are veterans as well as to recruit more U.S. servicemembers after their military service is concluded. 

Veterans bring unique perspectives and skills to the workforce.

They're a remarkable and valuable resource, many job experts say, and can be changemakers in the U.S. workforce.

JOB SKILLS OF FORMER MILITARY INCLUDE A ‘MISSION-CRITICAL’ APPROACH TO THEIR WORK

One pacesetter honoring American servicemembers is PepsiCo, headquartered in Purchase, New York

The company's drivers have been embarking on a cross-country relay race to raise awareness for partners such as Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, an organization that provides college scholarships and educational counseling to children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.

Through this awareness, PepsiCo said it is supporting and celebrating its own veteran employees while raising funds and creating academic opportunities for the families of their fallen brothers and sisters.

Here's more to know about the endeavor.

Back in March, an American flag, first flown by the U.S. military in combat, set off on its over-14,000 mile "Rolling Remembrance" relay to raise awareness and funds for Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. 

Through the course of the relay, 55 PepsiCo drivers — all military veterans — have been transporting this American flag across the country, handing it off to one another from Seattle to New York, the company said. 

VETERANS SHARE PATRIOTISM, PRIDE AND PRODUCTIVITY WHILE ALSO PROMOTING ‘MILITARY WORK ETHIC’

The Rolling Remembrance initiative in now in its ninth year. 

Jim Farrell, senior vice president, supply chain at PepsiCo Beverages North America, and a U.S. Army veteran based in New York, shared how the endeavor began. 

"I thought about that flag’s logistical journey and became engrossed by the idea of moving it further as both a practical exercise and teambuilding experience," Farrell told FOX Business in an email exchange.  

"From there, the idea grew as we realized the potential to move it for a cause by showing support and raising awareness and appreciation for a military-focused charity."

The biggest impact, he said, could be tied to the month of May. 

"Memorial Day was a natural fit to serve as a moment of recognition as we moved this gifted flag across the country in a set amount of time — and what better way to do it than by utilizing existing routes and our veteran PepsiCo transportation drivers," he said.

"As far as who we wanted to support, the Children of Fallen Patriots was a choice that just felt right."

Americans can keep military families in mind during the Memorial Day weekend, said Farrell. 

"We’re all excited to celebrate the beginning of summer with picnics and beach days, but it’s important to keep in mind the true meaning of Memorial Day," he shared. 

"At PepsiCo, we encourage people to play outside, listen to music and enjoy themselves — we hope with our snacks and beverages in hand," he added. 

However, he said, the company also hopes people will "set aside time for community events like parades and memorials that commemorate family, friends and those who served and gave their lives. Specifically, people should look for community opportunities to support Gold Star families — and if possible, contribute to the Children of Fallen Patriots."

When companies hire veterans, they hire people who are extremely well-prepared to succeed, said Farrell.

"I wholeheartedly believe that veterans bring unique perspectives and skills to the workforce — and when companies use them as a valuable resource, they can make a big impact on their own employees and beyond," Farrell told FOX Business.

"The military prepares people to be problem solvers. It instills discipline, loyalty and drive. These qualities make great servicemembers and great employees."

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The Rolling Remembrance flag started its cross-country journey in Seattle and is making its way to PepsiCo’s headquarters in Purchase, New York. 

"It’s a humbling and inspiring experience for the veteran men and women who have the opportunity to make a difference by transporting this flag across our nation," Farrell attested. 

Beyond the visual recognition and awareness, PepsiCo employees from across the nation have been joining the cause at every stop along the way to raise funds by hosting community-focused grassroots events, he also said. 

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The company said the flag has been traveling on its 61-stop journey throughout the U.S. on the ground, carried on trucks on their normal business routes. 

The race concludes with a ceremony as the flag returns to PepsiCo's headquarters in Purchase, New York, on Wednesday, May 22 — just before Memorial Day weekend.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxbusiness/lifestyle.

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