Wreaths Across America's Trucking Tributes Presents Truckloads of Remembrance

Professional drivers and trucking companies give so much to the nation. Without them, the Wreaths Across America mission to remember, honor, and teach would be nearly impossible. Veterans’ wreaths move by planes, trains, ships, and livestock trailers, but trucks and their professional drivers transport the lion’s share of America's respect. In 2023, to be specific, 717 truckloads of wreaths were delivered, representing 332 different carriers and partners.

In November and December, one of the busiest periods of the year for the transportation sector, the Wreaths Across America mission brings drivers together in an effort of unparalleled unity. With a positive, “can-do” work ethic, these professionals make it possible for Americans to honor millions of veterans laid to rest at home and overseas. In 2024, with over 4,200 participating locations, in addition to Arlington National Cemetery, transportation logistics are immense.

Many of these drivers are military veterans and say the truckload of fresh balsam-fir wreaths is the most precious cargo they transport in their careers. Wreaths Across America shares their stories in the “Trucking Tributes” feature online and on Wreaths Across America Radio and Sirius XM, Channel 146, Road Dog Trucking.

Elisabeth Barna has been involved in the trucking industry for thirty-four years. “I was with the American Trucking Associations for twenty-five years and eighteen months ago I started my own consulting firm, EAB Strategies.  I am fortunate to have Wreaths Across America as one of my clients,” Elisabeth shared. "I have been working with many of the state trucking associations and this year, some of the national trade associations involved in the supply chain.”

Elisabeth and Wreaths Across America’s Director of Transportation, Courtney George have been working on the annual virtual convoy, renamed this year to Truckloads of Remembrance. Through Truckloads of Remembrance, WAA seeks to fill a virtual tractor-trailer load of sponsored veterans’ wreaths from each of the 50 states. Hometown heroes from every state are buried at Arlington, with more than 260,000 eligible markers for veterans’ wreaths to be placed – this is more than 260,000 servicemembers whose names will be said out loud and remembered as part of National Wreaths Across America Day.

With the participation of 36 state trucking associations in its inaugural year, the 2023 virtual convoy facilitated the sponsorship of 7,129 veterans’ wreaths – nearly two full trailer loads – for placement on National Wreaths Across America Day. “There’s a better understanding this year of how it works, and the states are on board,” Elisabeth explained. “They can sponsor wreaths for Arlington National cemetery, or for their own state cemetery. A lot of them are signed up as a payback sponsorship group earning five dollars back for each wreath they get sponsored to adorn the headstone of a fallen veteran and they use it for veterans causes in their own communities. Some of these state trucking associations got really creative with their fundraising ideas and everyone loves a competition. We divided the associations into categories of large and small depending on the number of staff they and awarded prizes for who could get the most wreaths sponsored. Indiana Motor Carrier Association was the winner in the large category and Virginia won the smaller one. Indiana took the prize for most creative.”

All national transportation associations and other industry nonprofits are encouraged to join in support of honoring servicemembers with sponsored veterans’ wreaths for placement by volunteers at Arlington National Cemetery on National Wreaths Across America Day – Saturday, December 14, 2024.

“This is a difficult year for the trucking industry, and we recognize that,” Courtney explained. “Every trucking company wants to be careful, yet they remain committed to Wreaths Across America and we are humbled by that. We are working really hard with them to make accommodations to the best of our ability as our need for trucks grows. We’re working together to find solutions because our drivers really want to do even more. This is their way of serving and we want to make the best of this program so they can give back.”

For more details on getting involved with Truckloads of Remembrance you can reach out to Elisabeth at: Elisabeth.barna@wreathsacrossamerica.org or cgeorge@wreathsacrossamerica.org

There are additional ways to support the Wreaths Across America Transportation division so don’t hesitate to reach out!

Thank you, Courtney and Elisabeth for updating folks on the Truckloads of Remembrance campaign supporting the mission to remember, honor, and teach.

If you’d like to join the Wreaths Across America Honor Fleet, you can get started with a click right here!

You can hear more with Courtney and Elisabeth on Trucking Tributes, which can be listened to every Truckin’ Tuesday at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM EST on Wreaths Across America Radio and Wednesday at 8:30 AM EST on Sirius XM Channel 146, Road Dog Trucking Radio.

Discover the Trucking Tributes archive playlist on Soundcloud.com