WASHINGTON — Distinguished Army veteran Brandon Meredith, a driver for Slay Transportation, received this year’s “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” award during a special ceremony held at the American Trucking Associations’ headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“Following a 20-year career in the U.S. Army, Brandon retired as a Sergeant First Class (SFC) with marketable skills and could have pursued many paths, but instead chose to follow his childhood dream of driving a tractor-trailer,” according to a news release. “In an emotional acceptance speech, with his wife and daughters by his side, Brandon shared that his father lost his life while operating a commercial vehicle and becoming a professional driver is a tribute to his memory. Brandon trained at Fayetteville Technical Community College and is currently a tanker driver and delivery professional with Slay Transportation Co.”
In recognition of Kenworth’s 100th anniversary, Brandon was awarded a T680 Signature Edition truck equipped with a 76-inch high-roof sleeper. Additionally, the truck has the PACCAR Powertrain featuring the PACCAR MX-13 engine and was the first T680 Signature Edition produced at Kenworth’s Chillicothe, Ohio, plant in honor of the company’s 100th anniversary. With the Kenworth T680 Signature Edition truck, Brandon is well on his way to accomplishing his goal of becoming a successful owner-operator.
“Veterans are a special breed of human beings. I’ve made some lifelong friends throughout this award. I’m a third-generation truck driver now. My father lost his life driving a truck, and while that was a hard time in my life, this profession is something I’ve always wanted to pursue. I couldn’t have asked for a better year,” Meredith said.
Kyle Kimball, Kenworth director of marketing, said it was an honor to present Meredith with the keys to the truck.
“We thank him for his distinguished military service, and wish all the best in his trucking career,” Kimball said.
Eric Eversole, president of Hiring Our Heroes, said he is inspired by stories like Kimball’s.
“America is still leading the way,” he said. “We are still the beacon on the hill, the shining light that is creating hope and opportunity for so many people across the world, and the Kenworth T680 Brandon is driving away in today is simply one example of how we are leading the way.”
Under the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence program, all five finalists participated in the Washington, D.C. awards ceremony where their military service was honored. The first runner-up, Ondrae Meyers/U.S. Marine Corps/CRST, was awarded a $10,000 prize, and finalists Jessica White/U.S. Army/Stevens Transport; LaTravis Wilcox/U.S. Marine Corps/Prime, Inc.; Todd Kraus/U.S. Army/Werner Enterprises received $5,000 each.
“Brandon has an impressive military record and his dedication to excellence has continued into his chosen civilian career as a professional truck driver. He is an undeniable ambassador for the program and will be an excellent representative for his fellow veterans in the industry,” said Brad Bentley, president of Fastport.
Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Erica N. Guy decided to stay in her hometown to begin her professional career in journalism. Since obtaining her bachelor’s degree from UAPB, Erica has professionally written for several publications about several topics ranging from lifestyle, tech, culture, and entertainment, just to name a few. Continuing her love for her hometown, she joined our team in June 2023, where she is currently a staff writer. Her career goals include continuing storytelling through her writing by being the best professional writer she can be. In her spare time, Erica enjoys trying new foods, cozying up with a good book, spending time with family and friends, and establishing herself as a future businesswoman.