OOIDA Member Rodney Bartlett and his wife Synthia are veteran team drivers and have hauled a lot of freight. But the load they have on the truck this week a cut way above anything they’ve ever moved down the highway.
For the first time, the Ozark, AR, couple is hauling Wreaths Across America balsam wreaths to be placed on the graves of America’s fallen troops.
The Bartletts drive for Load One LLC, a Taylor, MI, company that is a devoted backer of the Wreaths Across America effort and a staunch supporter of the nation’s troops. In fact, many of Load One’s trucks and trailers have military themes. When the opportunity arose for Rodney and Synthia to take their straight truck to Maine, they jumped at the chance.
On Monday, Dec. 10, about 400 wreaths were loaded on their expediter, bound for Arlington; wreaths that are specifically destined for Section 60, the newer graves of service men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It doesn’t matter if I have one wreath or 1,000, it is sacred cargo,” Rodney said.
Synthia agrees and said she and Rodney feel like they “are the blessed ones.”
“We feel like we are getting more out of this than what we are giving to it,” she said. “We go through these little towns on the convoy and you see people out there, the ladies holding flags with tears rolling down their faces and the local fire departments and law enforcement saluting the trucks as they go by.”
Synthia said she wondered how they knew when the truck would be rolling through their town.
“Do they have any idea what time we’re going through? I don’t know, but they’re standing outside by the road holding flags.”
The trucks filled with balsam wreaths began the journey on Sunday, Dec. 9, in Herrington, ME. They will finish Saturday, Dec. 15, at Arlington National Cemetery.
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