On the evening of Friday, December 13, TCA Chairman and Trekker CEO Josh Kaburick and Pilot Flying J’s Wendy Hamilton, recognized nearly 100 professional truck drivers during the 2019 Wreaths Across America (WAA) Washington DC Area Wreath Reception and Dinner. The event was held prior to Saturday’s wreath-laying in Arlington National Cemetery.
Nearly 900 people — trucking executives, professional truck drivers, military dignitaries, WAA convoy participants, and supporters — attended the event which was held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. ET at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.
During the trucking industry presentation, Kaburick and Hamilton invited all professional truck drivers in attendance to come on stage to be recognized. Each driver received a commemorative 2019 challenge coin and a tumbler.
“Tonight’s event provides the opportunity for professional truck drivers, trucking industry professionals, as well as those who traveled with the convoy, to reflect on the week-long trek,” said Kaburick. “For nearly a decade, professional truck drivers and the trucking industry have played a pivotal role in the delivery of remembrance wreaths.”
Long-time sponsor Pilot Flying J’s Hamilton shared, “Each year I look forward to this event — from talking with the drivers about their journey to hearing heartfelt stories from the Gold Star Families — it’s apparent how important Wreaths Across America is to each individual in this room.”
Hamilton thanked two sets of heroes — those who served in the armed forces and those who serve as professional truck drivers. “Each of you are our heroes not only today but every day,” she shared.
Attendees also heard from WAA’s Founder Morrill Worcester, WAA’s Executive Director Karen Worcester and WAA’s Head of Corporate Outreach Renee Worcester; blessing of the meal by Baylor Trucking, Inc.’s Cari Baylor; keynote speaker Medal of Honor Recipient Ryan Pitts; a performance by country music singer Mark Willis and U.S. Army Field Band Six-String Soldiers.
For several years, TCA hosted a driver appreciation dinner on the Friday night before National Wreaths Across America Day. On this day, WAA’s mission is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 2,100 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.
To learn more about Wreaths Across America, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.