Voting is now open for Fastport’s 2017 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award, which honors a rookie truck driver with a military background.
Fastport’s campaign, which awards a fully loaded Kenworth T680 to the winner, is part of an overall effort to inspire the hiring of more veterans, National Guard members and reservists into the trucking industry. Each of the finalists is a former member of the military who is now working as a truck driver.
The three finalists:
- Wayne Roy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Xpress;
- Daniel Shonebarger, U.S. Navy, Melton Truck Lines; and
- Gregg Softy, U.S. Army, Stevens Transport.
Each finalist has a video the public can watch in order to help make their vote.
Shonebarger was a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with three sea service deployment ribbons.
“The Navy focused on honor, courage and commitment,” Shonebarger said. “Melton really exemplifies that. Those values that I learned from the eight years I was in really builds character. That’s something I’m really proud of. It’s built me to where I am now.”
Roy was a combat veteran with the Marines.
“In the Marine Corps, we are shown to go above and beyond in everything we do, and that has spilled over in to my driving career,” Roy said. “I will always jump out of the truck and help a fellow driver no matter what company he or she works for.”
Softy graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and then spent 28 years of active duty before retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
“I feel my military career has prepared me for the responsibilities and challenges that come with driving a truck and being within this industry,” Softy said. “Trucking, like the military, is a people business. The military has instilled in me the imperative of treating everyone with dignity of respect regardless of position or job.”
Nominations for the second annual award began in March. Those nominated:
- must be a military veteran or a current or former member of the National Guard or Reserves;
- must have graduated from a certified driver training school and be a current CDL holder;
- must have been employed by any for-hire carrier or private fleet that has pledged to hire veterans through TruckingTrack.org; and
- was first employed as a truck driver between Jan. 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.
The nominations were narrowed to 10 in July and then to three in August. The public will have until the end of the day on Oct. 31 to vote for a winner.
On Dec. 15 in Washington, D.C., the winner and the two runners-up will be announced during a ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hall of Flags. The winner will receive a 2017 Kenworth T680 with an approximate value of $155,000. The two other finalists will receive $10,000 in prize money.
The award’s inaugural winner was Troy Davidson, a U.S. Navy veteran who works with Werner.
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