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12/22/2014 1:45:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Trucking Industry Honors Military Veterans; 720,000 Wreaths Delivered to Cemeteries

Jaclyn O'Laughlin
By Mindy Long, Special to Transport Topics

This story appears in the Dec. 22 & 29 print edition of Transport Topics.

The trucking industry delivered 283 truckloads of holiday wreaths at more than 1,000 cemeteries Dec. 13 as part of Wreaths Across America, an annual event that honors members of the military.

As part of the tribute, 720,000 wreaths were placed on the graves of veterans nationwide, including 230,000 in Arlington National Cemetery.

Professional drivers volunteered their time, and 131 carriers donated their trucks and fuel. The Truckload Carriers Association coordinated the nationwide effort and raised money for the placement of wreaths.

Trucking Moves America Forward supported the event with a $10,000 donation.

American Trucking Associations’ Share the Road truck was among those that took part in the convoy that traveled from Harrington, Maine, to Arlington, Virginia.

The convoy made 31 stops along the way at schools, landmarks and fire departments to educate the public about trucking safety and the mission of Wreaths Across America, said Elisabeth Barna, vice president of communications and public affairs for ATA.

America’s Road Team captains Ralph Garcia and Nate McCarty drove the truck. Garcia and McCarty drive for ABF Freight System Inc., based in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

“I look forward to this trip as much as I do to any other run I make. It is an honor to be part of this convoy and a tremendously rewarding way to start the holiday season,” McCarty said.

Wreaths Across America recently presented Robert Baylor, president of Baylor Trucking Inc., with the first annual James Prout/Wreaths Across America Spirit of Giving Award for his support. The honor is named in the memory of James Prout, owner of Blue Bird Ranch Trucking of Jonesboro, Maine, who was the first person to volunteer to haul wreaths.

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