Wreaths Across America receives no government funding to support operations. Motivated and dedicated patriots across the country and at locations overseas power the Maine-based nonprofit organization. The mission to remember, honor, and teach is carried out daily by millions of citizens who care deeply for those who have served our nation in the armed forces, and their families. Some of these remarkable individuals are veterans themselves or come from military families while others are driven by a deep sense of patriotism and community service. 

Placing fresh, hand-made balsam remembrance wreaths on the headstones of veterans across the country in December requires tremendous logistics and unyielding support from the trucking industry.

Wreaths Across America shows its gratitude and appreciation for all those involved in transporting America's respect with "Trucking Tributes." These stories will introduce you to the men and women of the industry who make the mission possible.

John Elliott is not the first person in the trucking industry to tell Wreaths Across America of some similarities he sees between the life of professional drivers and that of those in the military.

John would know, following his twelve years of service in the U.S. Army & Army Reserves as an Infantry drill sergeant and as the third generation in his family to be involved in trucking.

"Our drivers are away from their families providing a service for this country, keeping America moving," John explains. "A high percentage of our drivers are former military, and I think it ties our industry well to Wreaths Across America's mission. I know our drivers take a great sense of pride and will jockey for position to be able to be one of those hauling wreaths to one of the cemeteries we support."

John is the CEO of Load One LLC  in Michigan, and he says they've been participating in hauling America's respect for at least eight years.

John Elliott (right) with Load One LLC seen here in Arlington National Cemetery in 2016 with fellow veteran and driver Torrey Alexander.

John Elliott (right) with Load One LLC seen here in Arlington National Cemetery in 2016 with fellow veteran and driver Torrey Alexander.

"As soon as we saw Wreaths Across America we jumped in pretty quick, and the first year we did two truck loads, and now we're up to seven to ten trucks depending on the need. We're an expedite company so we can help with emergency recoveries too so if a truck breaks down we can go in and retrieve the load. We get to deliver some of the ceremonial wreaths that we can break off and deliver to different locations where some of the big semis can't get to easily like the Statue of Liberty or Pentagon."

It's not just the drivers at Load One LLC who participate in honoring our military veterans on National Wreaths Across America Day. The company also charters buses to transport other company employees to the national cemetery in Michigan National Cemetery where they volunteer to lay wreaths on the headstones of our fallen heroes.

John believes being a part of the Wreaths Across America event in December is a life-changing experience that sends a poignant message of understanding and support to military families and those currently serving.

"To see this display of unity and patriotism in the country, and to know that they're not forgotten and their families are not forgotten always does a lot to bolster the spirits of our troops still in harm's way," John explains.

"There are things we can do every day to get involved with organizations like Wreaths Across America and others that work to support the military and their families.  As a country, I think we should keep in mind the military is undersized and underfunded which means the troop rotations and deployments are more common and longer in most instances. That's tough on the families and stretches the fabric of the military."

John, as did many of the other drivers and companies showcased in our "Trucking Tributes" series, says when he first got involved he was stunned to learn of the scope and size of the transportation logistics involved in delivering millions of sponsored veterans remembrance wreaths across the country and to locations overseas.

"It's massive," John exclaims. "When you see thousands of volunteers flood through the gates to lay wreaths, it does help restore your faith in America and that our country has not lost its core value of appreciating the sacrifice of our soldiers and veterans and saluting them while teaching the next generation how important it is to remember."

John continues to enthusiastically support the growth and development of Wreaths Across America as we work to remember and honor more of our fallen heroes across the nation. He challenges other trucking companies to get involved in hauling America's respect.

Custom Load One LLC trailers filled with veterans' remembrance wreaths destined for Alabama and Louisiana

Custom Load One LLC trailers filled with veterans' remembrance wreaths destined for Alabama and Louisiana

Thank you, John Elliott and Load One LLC for your patriotism and tireless support of Wreaths Across America. You can hear more from John in our "Trucking Tributes" on Wreaths Across America Radio weekdays at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM Eastern.

 

 

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