Friday, April 1, 2016

Trucking industry pledges support for Guard, Reserve employees

About 69 businesses within the trucking industry pledged their support for military veterans on Friday morning at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

According to Tom Bullock, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve chief of employer outreach, it was the largest Statement of Support signing in the department's history.

Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy
The ceremony, organized by the Mid-America Trucking Show and FASTPORT, is used to build bridges with corporate America and promote supportive work environments for service members in the reserve components.

"The signing is a testament to our nation's trucking industry in hiring the best and brightest into their workforce," Brig. Gen. Stephen Hogan said.

FASTPORT, which was one of the businesses to sign a pledge of support, works to enable the more than 150,000 veterans and transitioning military service men and women to find careers within the trucking industry.

Jim Ray, FASTPORT co-founder, said military veterans and the trucking industry have formed a great partnership over the years.

"I was raised by a pack of truckers," Ray said. "In the 1970s, those truckers were Vietnam veterans and they were my heroes. They drove these giant machines covered in chrome. To a little boy, that was a beautiful thing. Looking back on that now makes me realize what the trucking industry did back then. That was a pretty turbulent time. That was a time when we treated some of our veterans pretty poorly. ... I'm here to tell you that at least in my 43 years, the trucking industry has always taken care of our veterans."

Acting U.S. Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy also lauded the trucking industry's efforts. Murphy, who previously worked for Roadway, is the son of a truck driver, and his cousin continues to work as a trucker.

"This is an industry ... that has been great for a lot of these heroes as they transition back," Murphy said.

"Hire these great Americans. Whether they're coming off active duty or whether they're national guard or reserves ... we need you to hire these great Americans. We need to make sure we have these public-private partnerships."