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Wreaths Across America honored with ‘Extra Mile’ award by truck writers at MATS

Wreaths at Arlington (Courtesy: WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA)

The Trucker News Services

3/28/2014

COLUMBIA FALLS, Maine, and LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Wreaths Across America (WAA), the national nonprofit best known for their annual wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and more than 900 locations nationwide, was honored at the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA) annual banquet held Thursday night at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.

The TWNA “Extra Mile” Award was created to recognize those individuals, organizations and companies who have gone the extra mile by helping to make the trucking industry a better place.

TWNA presented the Extra Mile Award to Morrill and Karen Worcester, founder and executive director of Wreaths Across America, respectively, for “going the ‘Extra Mile’ by working with the trucking industry to honor America’s fallen heroes.

“Wreaths Across America has strong ties to the trucking industry,” explained Karen Worcester. “Without the support of the many trucking companies and professional drivers who volunteer their time and equipment each year, we would not be able to deliver remembrance wreaths across the country.

"Almost every driver I’ve met has a personal story, a connection to the armed forces. It is clear that they recognize the sacrifice these heroes and their families have made in the name of freedom.”

The Truckload Carriers Association has been a strong supporter of WAA, helping to provide trucking industry volunteers and planning out the logistics of delivering the wreaths. TCA officials said this year, it will have a stronger hand in the coordination efforts.

In 2013, Wreaths Across America kicked off the first annual Rolling Tribute with the trucking industry. Through WAA’s partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), drivers can purchase two wreaths — a “Trucking Patriot Pair” – for $30. They receive one wreath for their grill, while a second matching wreath is laid at Arlington National Cemetery on National Wreaths Across America Day. The tribute acts as a constant visual reminder of the dedication of drivers and promotes awareness and a positive image of the trucking industry.

Past recipients of the “Extra Mile” award have included the Land Line Magazine staff for working through the 2009 holiday season to help stranded drivers get home after the unexpected shutdown of Arrow Truck Lines; Shell Lubricants for leading the fundraising drive to help Highway Hero, Jorge Orozco-Sanchez, get back on the road after his truck was lost in a fire while he helped rescue another motorist; and Jasmine “Jazzy” Jordan for using her cross-country run to build awareness for the St. Christopher Fund, a charity which provides medical care for truckers. Founded in Nov. 1988, the Truck Writers of North America is an organization of professionals who are involved in gathering, writing and reporting news and information about the commercial vehicle industry.

Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman, Morrill Worcester, in 1992. The organization’s mission, Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as hundreds of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.

For more information, to donate or to sign up to volunteer, visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.