Those who follow my blog know I write stories of amazing people who do extraordinary things as part of their daily life. Today is not different. That being said, I feel I must set this story up just a bit.
A friend, mentor and fellow trucker, Dee Sova, recently posted a picture on Facebook of a sign at a Walmart that read, “No Semis allowed.” This was a new occurrence since, if space permits, Walmart is very truck friendly. They allow truckers to park their rigs in their lots, get rest, replenish their supplies and head on down the road.
When asked, the management of this Walmart said their customers were very frightened by all the trucker characters who filled the parking lots. Having met now thousands of truck drivers, this saddens me because my experience is that the majority of truck drivers are kind, courteous, hard working Americans.
And, in the year 2015, you’d be surprised at who is behind the wheel.
Take me for example. I have a PhD, have been very successful in corporate America and have long since earned the respect of my peers in my previous industry. I’m doing this because it’s an adventure and because I can. Sound dangerous to you?
Then there’s Dr. Randy (not his real name). He possesses a PhD and worked for decades as a aerospace engineer for NASA. When the space shuttle program was grounded, he was… ummm, outsourced. He had a family to provide for and the only job he could find to pay the bills was trucking. No welfare for him. He’s driving (and parking in Walmart parking lots) to be the head of his household. He probably won’t kill anyone as they walk through the lot.
And what about Dee? Well, when she’s not driving or endangering those customers’ lives by parking in the lot, she’s speaking to groups of people all over the country, telling them the importance of not drinking and driving. Her daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Oh yeah, Dee’s a real scary person!
Let’s not forget Dave, who risked his own life on the infamous Cabbage Patch in the middle of the night when another driver’s brakes caught on fire. First, he stopped the driver who did not see his own flames. Then he pulled over and helped him put out the fire. Yeah, the world is a better place by keeping him out of that parking lot.
Here’s my point. Truck drivers are some of the most incredible, responsible, patriotic, hard working Americans I’ve met. They drive night or day, cross country or through LA to get the goods into the stores. When the storms rage, they drive through them and more times than not, they deliver on time. They are seldom thanked, often discriminated against, treated unjustly and yet you rarely hear them complain. They just take all in stride and keep on trucking.
People are people and what makes them good or bad is not whether or not they sit behind the wheel of a big rig. Driving an eighteen wheeler doesn’t make them a criminal any more than wearing black leathers and driving a Harley makes someone an Outlaw gang member.
We are Americans and true Americans do whatever they must in order to care for their families. Americans are driven by what’s inside- a compelling to earn an honest living. Driving a truck is an honorable and noble profession that I am proud to be a part of. When I’m out on the open road hauling goods from one place to the other, I feel so patriotic. I’m doing my part at keeping the heartbeat of America alive and well.
I’m proud to be an American. I’m proud to be a trucker. I’m proud to live in a country where I have the freedom to live a life of adventure. Judge me if they must. Drive me out of their parking lots if they can but I’ll still have the satisfaction knowing that when they get inside, everything they buy was delivered by one of my brothers or sisters who took to the open road to keep this great nation going.
The Heartbeat of America remains alive and well.