Wreaths Across America's Trucking Tributes Presents Apple Transfer, Inc.
“We think about it all year but come September we start making the phone calls and arrangements.”
The planning behind the Wreaths Across America mission is indeed a year-long undertaking leading up to National Wreaths Across Day every December. No one knows the logistics better than members of the trucking industry who provide the transport for the veterans’ wreaths from Maine to their destination to honor a veteran laid to rest.
Joe Garlick, Co-owner for Apple Transfer, Inc. out of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Joe tells Trucking Tributes the family- operated trucking company has represented Arpin Van Lines since 1988 and is going on the sixth season of supporting Wreaths Across America. As with all Wreaths Across America supporters, the opportunity to honor veterans is a personal one for Joe.
“We do local, long-distance and international moving, primarily for military families and some corporate moves,” Joe shared. “I grew up in an Air Force family. My father was Air Force for 20 year and then worked for the Defense Department for another 20. My mother worked at the Pentagon as a secretary for the Army, and now she’s buried in Arlington. My father’s close by and he goes to visit her twice a week.”
Joe learned of Wreaths Across America from another Arpin Owner/Operator, Steve Meyers.
“He told us all about it five years ago, and we wanted to get involved. It’s just something special to be able to honor our military and veterans. I did one load and was hooked. Apple Transfer wanted to do something locally for Stafford County where we operate our business and Wreaths Across America was able to accommodate that. We serve Quantico and Oakhill cemeteries in Fredericksburg and ran as many as three loads last year, and we want to do more this year.”
Apple Transfer has some wrapped tractors, one in honor of Joe’s mother and father, and trailers with pictures of local heroes on them which receive quite a bit of attention throughout the year.
“Oh my gosh, we get honks from people on the road, and we’ve actually had people follow us into a truck stop wanting to hug us,” Joe shares of his experiences on the road as a rolling ambassador for Wreaths Across America.
Joe says he and several other drivers coordinate and head to Maine to pick up veterans’ wreaths and bring them back to Virginia. On Wreath Day, everyone plays a part.
“The Stafford County Sheriffs’ Department provides a fabulous escort to the cemetery, and it’s all quite an operation. We try to mirror what they do at Arlington, just on a smaller scale. We even have a motorcycle group that falls in line with the escort. Truly, everyone wants to be a part of this amazing event.”
Thank you, Joe, and the entire team at Apple Transfer, Inc. for all you do to support the mission to remember, honor and teach.
You can hear more from Joe’s interview on Trucking Tributes, heard exclusively on Wreaths Across America Radio, Tuesdays at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM EST.