Wreaths Across America's Trucking Tributes Presents Total Transportation Mississippi

The Wreaths Across America mission to remember, honor, and teach is impossible without the transportation industry. Veterans’ wreaths move by planes, trains, and livestock trailers, but trucks and their professional drivers transport the lion’s share of America’s respect. Many of these drivers are veterans and say the truckload of fresh, balsam-fir wreaths is the most precious cargo they transport in their careers. Wreaths Across America highlights their steadfast commitment in the “Trucking Tributes” feature online and on Wreaths Across America Radio.

Professional drivers and trucking companies give so much to the nation. In December, arguably the busiest time of the year for the transportation sector, the Wreaths Across America mission brings them together in an effort of unparalleled unity. Combined with a “can-do” work ethic, that unity makes it possible for Americans to honor millions of veterans laid to rest here at home and overseas. With over 2,500 participating locations and Arlington National Cemetery, transportation logistics are immense.

For most of his adult life, Destin Smith was involved in professional baseball, but in 2014 he was approached with opportunity to get involved in the trucking industry. “I took a leap of faith, and I liked it right away,” Destin shared. “I could see the immediate impact one person can have on the world. Drivers and their trucks are so important. Everything you see, feel, wear and eat has to be on a truck at some point.” After over six-and-a-half years on the operations side of the business, Destin is the Director of Recruiting for Total Transportation MississippiHe says he looks forward to coming to work every day. “Total has been in business for over thirty years, starting with one truck. Now we have 910 trucks and haul freight from the east coast to the west. We pay attention to detail and have built a family atmosphere. We have an open-door policy at Total Transportation. Any driver in this company, or any driver who wants to come work for us, has access to everyone in the entire corporation from the fleet manager to the executive management level. Everyone has a voice and that's what really matters.”

Total Transportation is one of the hundreds of professional companies involved with moving the mission every December. “We facilitate the cross-dock operations. Wreaths are delivered to our Richland, Mississippi terminal. We have forty dock doors, and the space is perfect for this operation. The wreaths will come to us from Maine, and we’ll store them in our open-air dock space. Then other carriers will come in and pick those wreaths up and make their stops across the country. We also deliver a couple of loads ourselves to the cemeteries in the southeast part of the country. We hand select veteran drivers and make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate. It’s a feather in our cap, especially the impact it has on veteran' families. We see drivers from all across the country, and when you see their faces when they see their wreaths being loaded, it’s just priceless. It’s a time I look forward to, and as soon as it’s over, I’m looking forward to doing it again.”

Destin is living up to his dad’s legacy. Doug Smith served as a U.S. Marine during the Vietnam War. “He epitomizes everything I strive to be; someone I constantly look up to and seek guidance from,” Destin shares. “I’m grateful for his service and that of so many other veterans. I know it sounds cliché but supporting Wreaths Across America is a way to pay it forward.”

Thank you, Destin Smith and Total Transportation Mississippi, for helping us live up to their legacy. You can hear Destin’s full interview on Trucking Tributes, which can be heard every Tuesday at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM EDT exclusively on Wreaths Across America Radio.