Wreaths Across America's Trucking Tributes Presents Classic Carriers
Pause for just a moment and imagine today’s world without our professional drivers and their trucks. It wouldn’t be pretty. They are a massive part of this nation’s critical infrastructure, and their sense of duty and commitment to our country is a source of pride for our nation.
Wreaths Across America has always recognized the dedication and heart of these heroes of the highway as they serve the mission to remember, honor, and teach. Last year, grateful Americans sponsored over 2.2 million fresh balsam wreaths, with a single red bow, in a gesture of honor and respect for our veterans. Those wreaths needed to be picked up in Downeast, Maine, and transported to Arlington National Cemetery and over 2,200 other participating locations for National Wreaths Across America Day. Many drivers are veterans themselves and have repeated time and time again, a load of veterans’ wreaths is the most precious cargo they haul in their careers.
Classic Carriers out of Ohio is a family-owned and operated trucking company with about 135 trucks on the road, mostly refrigerated units. “My father, Jim Subler, started the company back in 1985,” Lucas Subler explains. “It’s a smaller company, but that makes it nice. We know everybody around here; nobody’s a number.” Classic Carriers learned about Wreaths Across America about seven years ago through the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), and they started to support the effort with one truck. “Now we’re up to two trucks, and we really enjoy it. It’s a worthwhile cause. It’s a no-brainer for us to be involved because we owe our veterans so much.”
At first, Lucas says they had to look for drivers to volunteer but as Wreaths Across America has grown, drivers now approach him and say they want to be involved. One of those drivers is Doug Chandler and his side-kick RoRo, an 11-year-old Chocolate Lab Doug describes as a spoiled child. “He’s pretty much the center of attention everywhere we go.”
Doug says he’s been fortunate to have had the same drop for the last four years at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Kentucky. “The volunteers there are so nice, some of them vets, and they even made me an honorary member of the Patriot Riders there last year.” Doug confirms Wreaths Across America has connected him with folks who have become friends who welcome his arrival every December. “Someone there always slips a gift in your truck when you’re not looking.” It was, in fact, the volunteers at Camp Nelson who recommended Doug and Classic Carries for a Trucking Tributes feature story.
Doug says he looks forward to coming to Maine every year to pick up his load of wreaths and tells us his favorite part of the journey is “the unity.” Doug describes Maine and the Wreaths Across America driver’s check-in lounge this way; “It’s the one place on earth that a driver is treated like a King.”
Doug and Lucas agree the number one goal for them is to support Wreaths Across America in its efforts to be sure no hometown hero is ever forgotten, no matter where they’re laid to rest. “We need a wreath for every stone.”
You can hear the full interview with Doug and Lucas on Trucking Tributes heard exclusively on Wreaths Across America Radio every Tuesday, at 11 AM and again at 4 PM eastern.