An owner-operator from Tribune, KS, has been honored as the
2004 American Worker of the Year by Dickies Workwear.
Octavio Vasquez, 42, was selected for the honor from
thousands of nominees nationwide. The livestock hauler is the first naturalized
citizen to receive the honor, which is given annually. The trucker was
nominated by his wife.
“Octavio epitomizes both the ideals of our ancestors and
those of the ‘new’ American worker: someone who came to this country without a
penny and has built himself up from the ground floor,” his wife, Jill, wrote in
her nomination letter.
“He has become a successful owner-operator truck driver by
his own sheer determination and strong character. He’s out on the road all the
time, pushing cows in the dust, heat and bitter cold. He has never once
complained about how hard he had to work to provide for his family.”
Vazquez came to the United States from Chihuahua, Mexico,
where he had been studying to be a teacher. Upon arriving in Kansas, a friend
helped him find work driving farm trucks. He became a naturalized citizen in
As the 2004 Worker of the Year, Vazquez received a 2005
Dodge Ram quad-cab pickup truck and a weekend with his wife at the Opryland
Hotel. He was featured in an awards ceremony Sept. 17 during a live broadcast
of the “Grand Ole Opry.”
“Mr. Vazquez truly represents the American ideal that with
hard work and determination, anyone can achieve the American dream,” said Bob
Scott, senior vice president for Williamson-Dickey Manufacturing Co., a Fort
Worth-based firm founded in 1922.