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Roses & Razzberries

Editor’s note: There are not enough pages in this issue to give adequate recognition for the tens of thousands of truckers, trucking companies and those “allied to the field,” who contributed to recovery efforts at the sites of Sept. 11’s terrorist attacks. Whether you drove a van full of supplies or a dump truck that moved tons of debris from ground zero, roses to all who stepped forward to help.

ROSES to OOIDA members Mike and Gail Swiger of West Allis, WI, who hauled supplies to New York for FedEx Custom Critical. As a team, Mike and Gail drove 10-hour shifts to New York, and then deadheaded back for more loads. When an NBC news reporter interviewed Mike and asked if he was afraid to make deliveries into New York after the terrorist attacks, Mike replied, “No, people are in trouble and they need their stuff.”

ROSES to OOIDA member Darrel Manley of Malone, NY, his son Dave Manley, and Pat and Stephanie Hinnegan, all owner-operators leased to Tri-State Expedited Service Inc. of Toledo, OH. They collected and hauled three truckloads of bottled water, sports drink, batteries, flashlights, blankets, work gloves, food and other supplies donated by businesses and residents of Sylvania, OH.

ROSES to OOIDA member Alan Ouellette and wife Kathy of Bozrah, CT, who were watching television on Sept. 11 and jumped into action, volunteering Alan’s well-known show truck, “The Dreamweaver.” Five days later, he found himself delivering a load of supplies to ground zero for the Salvation Army.

ROSES to OOIDA members Jerry and Judy Reese of Statesville, NC, who had just shown their truck at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas and were on their way to the St. Ignace show when the news of the attacks broke. The Reeses took their rig to the Sheriff’s Department in Pontiac, MI, and in five hours, were headed to Manhattan with water, batteries, flashlights, food and medical supplies.

ROSES to OOIDA member Steve Keene, Granger, IA, who delivered a load of respirators to ground zero on Sept. 18. ROSES to member David Wilmot of Jackson, TN, who hauled a load of oxygen canisters toward its New York destination.

ROSES to OOIDA member Rocky Day of Waldorf, MD, and his friend Donald Jensen who lease to Decon Inc. They offered their time and trucks to haul lumber to the site of the Washington, DC, terrorist attack. The Home Depot in Washington, DC, donated the lumber to shore up the walls of the Pentagon so recovery efforts could continue.

ROSES to Vicki Trible who offered her company a gift from her past. When Sternberg International, an Indiana-based trucking company, was unable to find a flag to fly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Vicki donated the flag that draped her husband’s coffin in 1969 after he was killed in Vietnam.

ROSES to the many people associated with the trucking industry that opened their hearts and arms to truckdriver John Salerno of Tampa, FL, in the minutes, hours and days following the events of Sept. 11. He lost his son when Tower One of the World Trade Center collapsed. John was on the West Coast to make a delivery when he learned of the tragedy. While John didn’t get everyone’s name that helped him along the way back to the East Coast, he wants to thank all the people who made him feel like family. His son, also named John, worked on the 104th floor for Cantor Fitzgerald. He leaves behind a wife who is expecting their first child. John said his son should well be remembered for his wit and never-ending ability to make people smile.

ROSES to the overwhelming number of motor carriers, big and small who donated support to the recovery efforts. It would be impossible to name them all. Among them are Michigan truckdrivers from Behnke Trucking, Alpis Trucking and Steve Posante & Daughters who took blankets, bottled water and even dog food to New York. Hahn Trucking of Oklahoma City and BKJ Trucking of Perkins, OK, donated the long-haul trucks that carried more than 40,000 teddy bears to patients, rescue workers and residents affected by the attacks. C&J Transport, owned by Carr and Jane Hussey of Vassalboro, ME, carried more than a thousand cases of food trays to ground zero to feed rescue workers.

Larger companies like C.R. England responded to calls from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to send its refrigerated trailers to be used as temporary morgues; Dick Simon drivers found themselves on the road with blood bound for New York City. Landstar was contacted by the Federal Aviation Administration and FEMA and immediately dispatched 18 specially designed trailers and professional drivers to take parts from the ill-fated jets at the twin towers to an Air Force Base in New Jersey. 

Overnite drivers hauled Jaws of Life. Con-Way Central Express jumped into action when called by a customer, Grainger, to move 30 generators to New York by the time darkness fell on the wreckage of the World Trade Center on the night of Sept. 11. The drivers made the delivery by 7:30 p.m. ROSES to Jevic Transportation Inc. and its team of Philadelphia-area based drivers, who teamed up with the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, the National Guard and Jevic customers to donate transportation services in the relief effort.

ROSES to the Iowa 80 Group who collected donations for the American Red Cross disaster relief fund and the New York 9-1-1 relief fund at all of their group locations. Will Moon, president, pledged that Iowa 80 Group Inc. would match 100 percent of the first $30,000 donated. ROSES to Michelin North America who donated $1 million to the American Red Cross relief fund for victims of Sept. 11’s attacks and says more donations will come. Not only that, the tire maker donated on-site service for all emergency vehicles involved in the recovery effort 24-7 and up to $250,000 in Michelin tires to those emergency vehicles.

ROSES to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for their $1 million donation to the American Red Cross disaster fund. ROSES to The Volvo Group who donated the use of 50 Volvo dump trucks to New York City at the expense of Volvo and to Ryder donating 150 reefers located in the New York City, Washington, DC, and Pittsburgh areas.