Special thanks to Pilot Flying J for making this post possible. All opinions are my own.
Did you know that September 13-19 marks this year’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week? Many don’t realize contribution that professional drivers make to their own daily routine and to our economy as a whole. Professional driving is hard work, and often without reward or recognition.
Take my friend, Allen, for example. Allen has been a professional over the road driver since leaving the Marine Corps in 1992, roughly 23 years ago. Transitioning to civilian life after war wasn’t easy, and finding a job wasn’t either. Since his step-Dad had a few trucks, becoming a professional driver was an easy decision for Allen. For 23 years, he’s spent 8-11 hours a day driving, sometimes seven days a week, and away from family 2-6 weeks at a time, depending on the job(s) available. That’s a lot of time on the road! When he’s on the road, Allen uses Facebook and phone calls to keep in touch with his wife. The hardest part for him, he says, has been missing out on the milestones of his kids lives, like potty training, first steps, and first days of school.
Generally, Allen hauls equipment of all types, from construction equipment, farm and AG equipment, and until recently he did a lot of work for F.E.M.A. Among other things, he hauled the portable morgue for them and was at the towers on 9/11, where he stayed for just over a year. He’s also hauled everything from farm animals, like cows and pigs, to medical supplies, cars, and steel.
Another friend, Anthony, has been a professional over the road driver for more than twelve years. He spends 25 out of every 30 days on the road and covers up to 15,000 miles a month. That’s 300 days a year that Anthony is separated from his family and friends, which he says is the hardest part of his job. He uses Skype to stay in touch with loved ones, but we all know that seeing your loved one through a screen isn’t the same as being able to hug them. For Anthony, hauling meat and produce is his bread and butter.
Knowing the sacrifices that Allen and Anthony make daily, that allow my life to run more smoothly, is humbling. Once again, Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, will honor professional drivers who demonstrate hard work and bravery through its 2015 Road Warrior Program. Through August 19, individuals can nominate a professional driver in their life who demonstrates hard work and perseverance to get the job done right. Simply visit roadwarrior.pilotflyingj.com and tell your story and they will be entered to win weekly prizes and a $10,000 grand prize. What a great way to honor the Road Warrior in your life.
I know who I’m nominating, how about you?