In Midst of Holiday Bustle, Trucking Industry Breaks In True Meaning of Holiday Spiritby Jana Ritter - Published: 12/18/2012
From the convoy of 65 trucking companies hauling 610,000 wreaths in last week's traditional veteran's tribute, to one company's 75,000 lb food drive, to one truck driver remembering Hurricane Sandy victims, the trucking industry is showing the true spirit of the holiday season even during its busiest time of year.
Last week showed the dramatic increase of the industry's participation in the annual wreath laying tradition that started in 1992, when the owner of Worcester Wreath Co. found a surplus of leftover wreaths and arranged for them to be placed in honor of veterans buried in Arlington, Virginia's National cemetery. In 2005, a photo of snow-covered gravestones adorned with wreaths gained national attention that led to the creation of the nonprofit organization, Wreaths Across America and the annual Wreaths Across America day held in December each of year. The 65 truck driving companies donating their services last week, helped to make this year's celebration the biggest veteran's tribute yet.
The convoy of tractor-trailers hauling these wreaths, called the “Escort to Arlington”, began December 9th in Harrington, ME, made its journey across the east coast escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders and stopped at schools, monuments, veterans' homes, and communities along the way. Hauling 126 loads of fresh remembrance wreaths to soldiers laid to rest across the nation, the trucking industry also helped to remind communities the importance of honoring its military veterans. In addition to each cemetery holding its own special events and wreath-laying ceremonies on Dec. 15th, the final 34 truckloads delivered about 110,000 to Arlington's National Cemetery, the final resting place for hundreds of thousands of veterans. TCA president and Marine Corps veteran Chris Burruss explains the industry's increasing participation in this particular event. “This project is a natural fit for TCA members and the trucking industry in general, since so many veterans choose to make their careers in trucking after serving in the military. All of us feel it is our honor and privilege to be able to show our respect by hauling the wreaths for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country,” Burruss said.
On the other side of the country in Kirkland, Washington, Kentworth Trucking employees recently conducted a food drive that resulted in a donation of nearly 7,500 pounds of food to Northwest Harvest. The employees loaded all the food into a Kent worth company truck, which then delivered it to Northwest Harvest's warehouse. Northwest Harvest, is the only non-profit food bank distributor operating statewide in Washington with a network of more than 350 food banks, meal programs and high-need schools.
Meanwhile Cavanaugh Trucking driver, Bob Prinkey, hasn't let the flurry of the holiday season let him forget about those still suffering after Hurricane Sandy. The company donated its time and services to “Operation Sandy Clause”, helping to deliver gifts to schools in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, one of the areas hardest hit by the super storm.