Wreath serves to honor those who serve, those who have fallen

| Thursday, December 12, 2013

OOIDA’s Truckers for Troops week remembers soldiers serving in war zones. The seventh annual telethon coincides this year with Wreaths Across America’s incredible project to remember veterans who gave their lives for our country.

It was inevitable that the two campaigns to honor our troops are widely supported by the nation’s professional truckers. After all, many truckers are veterans. In fact, 57 percent of OOIDA’s members are veterans.

During Truckers for Troops week, a large balsam wreath is being displayed in OOIDA’s front lobby at the Association’s Grain Valley, Mo., headquarters. It was made by the Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, Maine, and is similar to the ones presented at statehouses across the nation during Wreaths Across America week.

The wreath was sent to OOIDA from Life Member Michael Frybarger, West Unity, Ohio, on behalf of the Jacob Russell Boulanger Memorial fund.

While today the wreath honors the troops now serving overseas, on Saturday it will honor those who are fallen.

Saturday morning, the wreath will be moved to the State Veterans Cemetery in Higginsville for Saturday's Wreaths Across America. It will be delivered to the noon ceremony by David Meyer, Director of the American Legion Riders Chapter 258, Concordia, Mo, and his wife, Rena, an employee of OOIDA.

Over the past few years, the Truckers for Troops effort has raised more than $360,000, enabling the Association to send more than 2,500 care packages, serving nearly 30,000 military personnel. Last year alone OOIDA sent 285 care packages serving more than 3,900 military personnel. The goal is to exceed those numbers.

All calls to join or renew membership through the start of business Monday, Dec. 16, will count toward the telethon totals.

Truckers can take part by calling the Association’s main number, 800-444-5791. During business hours and up until 7:30 p.m. Central time, operators will take the call; after hours, call the same number and press 1.

If operators are available, you will be transferred to membership. If the office is closed, it will put you in a voice mail box where you can leave your name and a phone number for membership to call you back. You can also sign up online here.

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