In the month of holiday cheer and Christmas celebrations, many took time to honor the millions of heroes who gave their lives to protect our country and our freedoms. For the fifth consecutive year, J.B. Hunt Transport joined the efforts of volunteers, families and veterans across the country to reflect on their sacrifices through the non-profit, Wreaths Across America.
Sixteen new military-wrapped J.B. Hunt trucks carrying wreaths formed a convoy to travel across the country, beginning in Harrington, Maine. Drivers participated in key exchange ceremonies along the way as they approached their final destinations at 40 state and national cemeteries. Upon arrival, volunteers helped to distribute the wreaths, laying one on each of the fallen heroes’ graves.
Forty-two J.B. Hunt employee drivers were selected by leadership to join the Wreaths Across America efforts and drive a portion of the route. Hear from four of those drivers, all of whom are veterans themselves, as they share their thoughts on the experience.
Dedicated driver Bobby of Springdale, AR served in the Army and National Guard for 4 years. In 2017 he attended Wreaths Across America and says, “it was something to see,” and on being selected to drive on the route this year, he says, “It’s going to be an honor, so many have given so much.” Directly after attending the wreath-laying ceremony in Fayetteville, Bobby joined others on his dedicated account as they delivered donations to the local Fayetteville Veterans home.
Intermodal driver Anthony of Phoenix, AZ served in the Army for 15 years and has driven with J.B. Hunt for 26 years. He says, “I’ve seen a lot in the military- combat too. I served in Desert Storm. This is a way to honor those who lost their lives. It’s a new experience for my life.”
Final Mile driver Kevin of Mechanicsburg, PA has served in the Army for 21 years. He served in Iraq in 2004, Afghanistan in 2013, and currently serves as an Army reservist. Kevin joined the Wreaths Across America convoy in Bethlehem, PA and made his way to East Brunswick, NJ. On the experience, he says, “It was a great honor. I enjoy giving back- it was truly a great honor.”
Intermodal driver Roy out of Stockton, CA shared the Wreaths Across America experience with his father, a 93-year-old veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. After making his delivery, Roy and his father continued to the local ceremony. Roy says, “The ceremony meant a lot to my father, it meant a lot to me as well.” Roy served in the Marines for 17 years. After the ceremony Roy joined his manager to lay wreaths on the graves of fallen heroes. On the overall experience, he says, “I look forward to doing this again next year if they’ll have me. And driving one of those new wrapped trucks wouldn’t be so bad either!”
Whether driving in the convoy, donating to the cause or attending the ceremonies, Wreaths Across America 2018 will surely be a treasured memory for many in years to come. We are thankful for all drivers and volunteers who participated in the event. As we take a step back this holiday season, we honor the millions who sacrificed their lives in the line of service to our country.