OOIDA's Truckers For Troops campaign rolling along

By Land Line staff | 11/11/2015

Phones are ringing off the hook at OOIDA headquarters in Grain Valley during the Association’s annual Truckers For Troops campaign, and Land Line and “Land Line Now” are your sources for following the action.

During Truckers for Troops week, a telethon broadcast is played each day on OOIDA’s “Land Line Now” satellite radio show on Sirius XM’s Road Dog Channel. During that week, truckers can join OOIDA or renew their membership for $35, with 10 percent of that money going toward care packages for U.S. troops stationed in combat areas overseas. OOIDA matches the 10 percent dollar for dollar.

Highlights of the telethon include insightful interviews, conducted by “Land Line Now” News Anchor Reed Black, himself an Army veteran. So far, Reed’s interviewed several other veterans, including:

  • Vincent Morales, U.S. Army – Morales served with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, came home and went to work for the Salvation Army and is actively involved with Wounded Warriors. He spoke to Reed on the first day of the telethon about the need for people to participate in these projects.
  • Air Force Staff Sgt. Bill Pickman – Pickman received a care box from OOIDA while he was stationed overseas in Qatar, working in an aircraft maintenance unit that kept operations going against ISIS. He spoke to Reed about how important it was to get a package from home and mentioned the value of socks and fun stuff like Frisbees.
  • Air Force MSG Jerry Novak – Novak, an OOIDA member who served in Kuwait, spoke of how important it was to be remembered with care packages from home.
  • Air Force Staff Sgt. Quanisha Gaines – Gaines spoke to Reed from Al Udeid Air Base where she is presently deployed. Al Udeid is southwest of Doha and houses foreign coalition personnel and assets. A number of OOIDA care packages have been sent there.

Reed also talked to Bill Ingram, a disabled veteran who was homeless for a while. He is now with St. Michael’s Veteran Center in Kansas City, a Catholic charity. He lives in one of their units and works for Catholic charities helping other homeless vets find housing. He spoke to Reed about what items a homeless vet needs most – with tarps and blankets topping the list.

If you’ve missed any of the segments, or want to hear them again, portions of the telethon are streaming online at the “Land Line Now” website.

This year’s Truckers for Troops campaign and membership drive kicked off Monday with the story behind an incredible rolling tribute to America’s armed forces by OOIDA Member Tom Liegel and his wife Billie.

The Liegels’ 2007 Kenworth T2000 military tribute truck, “Liberty & Justice” is a custom-wrapped rig with more than 4,000 square feet of vinyl depicting patriotic images from the War of Independence to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Thanks to generous support over the past eight years, OOIDA’s “Truckers For Troops” campaign is expanding its mission to include providing for injured veterans stateside as well as abroad.

Care packages will continue to be sent to any troops in “hot zones” overseas upon request, and the Association will continue to seek addresses to do so. But in addition to that mission, OOIDA will start an effort to supply needed items to various medical care facilities for wounded or needy veterans back in the states.

There are other ways to participate, too. You can also renew or join online during the weeklong event. Visit OOIDA.com and click on the Join/Renew button on the home page. If you prefer to mail in your donation, note dues and/or donation and “Troops” on the memo line of your check. All memberships and renewals postmarked during the event will be counted toward the 10 percent match total.

Another change for this year’s event is the “swag” available on OOIDA’s “Spirit of the American Trucker” tour truck. Those who renew their membership with Jon Osburn at the Spirit Truck will receive Truckers For Troops T-shirts, instead of baseball caps.

OOIDA’s annual Truckers For Troops campaign to raise money for care packages to send to U.S. troops in overseas combat zones began Monday, Nov. 9, and will run through Veterans Day, concluding Friday, Nov. 13. The radio show telethon broadcasts air through Nov. 13, with repeats during the weekend. All calls to join or renew membership, including those in the Spirit Truck, up until the start of business Monday, Nov. 16, will count toward the telethon totals.

Shell Rotella is once again sponsoring Truckers For Troops and already pledged $2,000 to this year’s event.

In eight years, the Truckers For Troops effort has raised more than $450,000, enabling the Association to send more than 2,500 care packages to nearly 30,000 military personnel. The care packages have been known to weigh as much as 70 pounds each and contain everything from necessities such as socks to fun stuff like Silly String. Silly String can be handy, too. The Association has been told by soldiers it does a good job in the field detecting trip wires.

The Association is also soliciting handmade cards and letters from children to be included in the care packages. Children should sign the cards with their first name only and hometown if they choose. Truckers are also encouraged to write letters to send to our military personnel.

The cards and letters can be sent to Norita Taylor at OOIDA.

OOIDA is also asking for the names and addresses of troops serving in active combat zones to send packages to. Call the name and address in to Nikki Johnson at OOIDA at 816-229-5791. You can also e-mail her at troops@ooida.com.

Those zones include Afghanistan, the Kosovo area of former Yugoslavia, and the Arabian Peninsula Areas, including 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.

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