Refrigeratedtransporter 1915 Jb Hunt Photo Wreaths Article

Truckers pay tribute to heroism during Wreaths Across America activities

Dec. 19, 2016
American Trucking Associations and ATA’s Share the Road Highway Safety Program celebrated the arrival of the Wreaths Across America convoy at Arlington National Cemetery.

American Trucking Associations and ATA’s Share the Road Highway Safety Program celebrated the arrival of the Wreaths Across America convoy at Arlington National Cemetery.

“The trucking industry believes wholeheartedly in remembering those who have served our country and protected our freedoms,” said Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO. “Truck drivers throughout the country, many of whom are veterans themselves, are some of the most patriotic individuals you can find, so we’re honored that our industry and the Share the Road program can salute America’s fallen heroes as part of Wreaths Across America.”

Michael Stansbery, Final Mile driver, and wife Tammy Stansbery with Craig Harper, executive vice-president and chief operations officer of J B Hunt Transport (middle). The Stansbery’s son, Michael Jr, is buried at Arlington National Cemetery after losing his life in combat in 2010.

Share the Road professional truck drivers Ralph Garcia and Nate McCarty drove the program’s truck from the wreath loading dock in Maine to Arlington VA. Along the way, the drivers participated in engaging education sessions for local students and communities to learn about the trucking industry’s importance to the economy and the need to honor the nation’s heroes.

 “I set out this week to honor my father, a Green Beret, and carried his hat with us to every ceremony,” said Garcia, who drives for ABF Freight. “We’ve been amazed, though, to meet so many people and hear countless stories of bravery and sacrifice, just like my father’s. This will be a very memorable trip for me.”

This year, Wreaths Across America delivered more than one million wreaths to veterans’ graves worldwide. Spear, alongside his family and dozens of ATA employees, distributed a portion of the 3,500 wreaths delivered by the Share the Road tractor-trailer.

Share the Road drivers chronicled their trip with videos and photos on Share the Road’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Social media followers were encouraged to interact with the drivers, and all volunteers at Arlington National Cemetery were invited to meet the drivers during the wreath laying proceedings December 17.

J B Hunt Transport Services Inc participated in Wreaths Across America for the third consecutive year. Twenty-three military veteran drivers from the carrier took part in this year’s event. The trucks hauled more than 50,000 wreaths on eight routes to Arlington National Cemetery, Houston National Cemetery, and Fayetteville National Cemetery in Arkansas. More than 500 J B Hunt employees were expected to volunteer. At the Fayetteville AR location, the company volunteered alongside the general public.

“Our commitment to hiring and supporting veterans is central to our culture at J B Hunt,” said John Roberts, the firm’s president and CEO. “In this season of giving, we proudly support Wreaths Across America and uphold its mission to remember, honor, and teach.”

“As a former combat veteran, this was a great emotional and physical experience. Most of all, I am extremely grateful for everything I learned as well as the opportunity to work beside other experienced drivers to participate in this event,” said Cheryl Slingland, a J B Hunt driver for Wreaths Across America.

For more information about Wreaths Across America, see www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

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