Lafayette, IN – Dog N Suds drive-in in Lafayette, Ind., is popular for a lot of reasons. Some would say it’s because of their burgers, coney dogs or fries, but the most popular answer would be it's their rootbeer that keeps people coming back, Fox59 reports.
Normally in the fall, the demand for the soda goes up because of a discount the restaurant offers on 2-liter jugs before closing up for the winter. But this year, the demand is a little different and even more.
Jordan Fletcher, a Marine from Lafayette posted an unexpected request on the Dog N Suds facebook page saying: “Anyway I can pay for a few of those and get them sent out to me in Afghanistan? There are still people who haven’t tried this rootbeer and its Blasphemy!”
Within minutes, Fletcher’s comment was flooded with responses.The first person to donate was Mike Sticks Hicks with a donation of $15, sparking the catalyst for others to follow.
"From there it escalated into something we never expected," owner Dan Washington said.
In what became known as "Operation Freedom Foam," the restaurant started taking donations through a secure online site that could manage donations coming in from anywhere.
Shortly after, the root beer money began to grow with Jordan Fletcher himself giving one of the first online donations for $500.
“What that told us was that they needed more root beer than what we were thinking about," Washington said.
Having been used to only selling bottles from the drive-in, he made a call to his distributor to tell him about the special order.
"I explained to him what we were doing and he said, 'I'll tell you what, if you can find a way to get the root beer from Chicago to Lafayette, I will donate the root beer,'" Washington said.
That donation comes to a total of 54 cases of 20 ounce bottles.
"That's 1,296 bottles of root beer. He can share that with a lot of his buddies," Washington said.
Dog N Suds set a fundraising goal of $2,036 to pay Fletcher back for his $500 donation and to account for shipping.
A few days ago that's what happened.
They exceeded their goal and collected $2,474.
"We ban him from making any further donations," Washington said.
But they didn’t ban anyone else from donating.
"We will continue to ship root beer as long as there is money available to cover the cost," Washington said.
"And right now we're over our goal so we'll ship more root beer."