The longtime mission of OOIDA’s Truckers for Troops campaign has been to make sure that members of the U.S. military serving overseas in combat zones are not forgotten. In the years since the campaign began, its mission has expanded to provide support for veterans returning from overseas.
One of the facilities the campaign has supported is the Mountain Home Veterans Administration Medical Center in Mountain Home, Tenn.
Land Line Now’s Mary McKenna spoke to Kim Gladson, a recreational therapist at the facility, about Project Healing Waters.
The project is part of a national program that takes veterans from the community on fly-fishing excursions in the area. The Truckers for Troops campaign donated fishing supplies to support the program.
“We’ve had veterans say that (the trips) were like a four-hour vacation,” Gladson said. “It distracts them from what they suffer from day in and day out.”
You can listen to the full interview below.
Truckers for Troops offers new and existing OOIDA members a chance to sign up or renew their membership for the discounted price of $35 per year. Ten percent of the fee goes toward care packages for U.S. troops stationed in combat areas overseas. OOIDA matches the 10 percent dollar for dollar.
Land Line Now will continue airing the Truckers for Troops telethon through Friday, Nov. 17, with replays over the weekend.
Through the generosity of its members and with a matching contribution by the Association, more than $500,000 has been raised.
Veterans are a huge part of the trucking industry overall, and more than one-third of all OOIDA members have served in the military.
To be a part of it, just call OOIDA’s main number, 800-444-5791. During business hours, let operators know you’re calling about Truckers for Troops and they will transfer you to membership. Phones will be answered live, and the switchboards will stay open later than usual, so you can call until 7:30 p.m. CST.
You can join or renew your membership with OOIDA – for as many years as you like – at $35 per year.
You can also visit Jon Osburn at The Spirit of the American Trucker touring trailer during the campaign and sign up or renew your membership. Jon will also be giving away Truckers for Troops T-shirts to those who sign up at The Spirit, while supplies last.
Mail-in contributions also will be accepted. However, payments must specify “Troops” in order for them to be counted toward the total and designate if the amount is for dues or dues and donations. Donation only checks need to be made out to the OOIDA Foundation so they can be tax deductible.
To date, the Association has sent more than 3,000 large care packages and provided items to nearly 36,000 military personnel stationed in areas designated as combat zones. Those zones include Afghanistan; the Arabian Peninsula areas, which includes the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, part of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden; and the countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The list of combat zones also includes the Kosovo area of Yugoslavia.
Challenges are part of the fun too. And things got started early this year.
Osburn’s faithful co-pilot, Sassi, is challenging all the other trucking pets to donate $220 – the amount of money for one care package (or whatever amount they can) to the campaign. People may post or send their pet photos to Facebook.com/TruckersForTroops.
It costs about $220 for one box. All the purchasing, organizing and packing of the boxes is handled by OOIDA staff volunteers, ensuring that 100 percent of the money raised is used to purchase items and cover shipping.
OOIDA is also asking for the names and addresses of troops serving in active combat zones to add to the Association’s list of recipients. Call the name and address in to Nikki Johnson at OOIDA at 816-229-5791. You also may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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