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.

Al Anderson of Overland Park, Kansas knows trucks and hotrods and works as the National Sales Manager for Bose Ride, a division of the Bose Corporation.

"I've worked on the supplier side of the industry for about thirty-three years, and I've sold everything from soup to nuts, bumper-to-bumper for trucks, tractors, and trailers," Al explains. He adds with a chuckle, "I work, and build hot rod cars."

Bose Ride is an active member of TCA (Truckload Carriers Association), and they reached out to Al about three or four years ago to participate in the Wreaths Across America effort. However,  for them to participate another connection had to be made.

"Bose has tractors, but the trailers we use are for demonstration and are not suitable to haul freight," Al explains. "We reached out to Barry Pottle who's a customer of Bose Ride, and he was gracious enough to provide trailers, and we've also used Dart Transit trailers as well."

Al is appreciative of those who have stepped up to serve in the military including his brother Steve and father Ray Anderson who both served in the U.S. Army; the latter during the Korean War.

Al recalls his impression of the first year he participated in honoring our fallen heroes.

"The first time I was there for the wreath-laying with my significant other, and subsequent times after that, we took the metro over to Arlington from our hotel and what we noticed was an amazing number of volunteers coming out. I mean it took us probably a half hour in line just to get down to the train station itself," Al recalls. "It was heart-warming. The sheer number of people who come out to support the event is mind-boggling."

Al, and the thousands of other volunteers who participate in National Wreaths Across America Day, never seem to be phased by the wait lines or weather. They know they have come to serve those who served us by placing a remembrance wreath on their headstone while saying their name. Like Al, every volunteer we speak with says they come away from the day knowing they have contributed to something so much bigger than themselves.

Bose Ride is a very civic-minded organization according to Al and participation in the Wreaths Across America mission to remember, honor and teach profoundly touches many employees on a personal level.

"One of our main drivers who supports the Bose Ride team effort is Gary Hussey, and he's a Vietnam veteran, and he's honored to drive a load of wreaths into Arlington. Another one of our drivers, Bob Knox, knows someone in one of the local cemeteries and every year he takes the Wreath attached to the grill of his tractor and places it on the headstone of that fallen veteran in his hometown."

Al Anderson (left) and Bose Ride driver Gary Hussey

Al Anderson (left) and Bose Ride driver Gary Hussey

Bose Ride has hauled wreath loads into Arlington National Cemetery as well as hauling cross dock loads to Illinois. Al says in addition to transporting America's respect employees have volunteered to place wreaths at cemeteries in the greater Boston area.

"Once they learn about the mission it's not hard at all to get them involved."

Thank you, Al and Bose Ride for your tireless patriotism and support of the Wreaths Across America mission to remember, honor and teach.

You can hear more from Al and our other patriots in our "Trucking Tributes" on Wreaths Across America Radio at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM Eastern.

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