Trucking Firms Pledge Support for Guard, Reserve Employees

April 04, 2016

By Tom Berg

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Handing out of support statements is supervised by Tom Bullock, an ESGR official. Photo: Tom Berg
Handing out of support statements is supervised by Tom Bullock, an ESGR official. Photo: Tom Berg

LOUISVILLE, KY -- Scores of trucking company representatives joined counterparts from associations and service providers in affirming their backing of the reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces by signing a pledge at a meeting during the Mid-America Trucking Show last week.  

It was the largest “statement of support” signing in the history of the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program, according to Tom Bullock, the group’s chief of employer outreach. Speakers included the acting secretary of the Army and other Washington and Kentucky brass.

The ceremony, organized by MATS management and Fastport Inc., represents a commitment by employers of National Guard and Reserve personnel to support their military service and the tenets of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, said Bullock. The effort builds bridges with corporate America and promotes the backing of citizen soldiers, especially while they’re on deployment.

Fifty-three percent of the U.S. Army’s 1 million-person strength is in its National Guard and Reserve units, said its acting secretary, Patrick Murphy, a former congressman from Pennsylvania and an ex-Army officer who served two tours in Iraq.

“When the president of the United States calls 9-1-1, he calls the Army,” Murphy declared. He recalled that part of his officer training in the 1990s was at nearby Fort Knox, Ky.

Kentucky’s ESGR chairman, Major General (Retired) Allen Youngman, said, “Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 16,000 Kentucky Guard and Reserve members have left their families and employers to serve in overseas contingency operations.

Employer reps sign their statements near the conclusion of the event. Photo: Bud Smith
Employer reps sign their statements near the conclusion of the event. Photo: Bud Smith

“The statement of supportsigning by so many companies on this occasion represents a patriotic, sincere effort by the trucking industry to support not only Kentuckians but Guard and Reserve members across the country.”

Fastport, a personnel services firm, has been active in ESGR and in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, an effort to recruit and employ former servicemen and women for a variety of jobs in various industries, including trucking. Jim Ray, a Fastport executive, said he grew up in a family that ran a trucking company in Indiana.

"In this room today, there is more power to hire more veterans than in any other place in the world.”

“In the ‘70s, those truckers were Vietnam veterans, and they were my heroes,” he said. “They drove those big machines. When they came home, to quote George W. Bush, ‘We treated Vietnam veterans shabbily' – but the trucking companies took care of them. In this room today, there is more power to hire more veterans than in any other place in the world.”

"Hiring veterans is good business," said Alan Youngman, ESGR's chairman of committees. "You get somebody who knows how to dress, how to get to work on time, and what it means to be a team member."

Bullock, the ESGR outreach official, supervised the distribution of pledge materials and a mass signing of them by company, association and service provider representatives. They promised to recruit and employ veterans and members of Guard and Reserve units, to assist their families when the members are called to active duty, and to re-employ them when they return.

The organizations represented at the ceremony included:

  • Arnold Relocation
  • Ace Doran
  • Anderson Trucking Service Inc.
  • Ashley Distribution Services
  • Averitt Express
  • Bennett Motor Express
  • Big Red Towing
  • Bolt Express
  • Boyd Brothers
  • Cargo Transporters
  • Celadon Driving Academy
  • Celadon Trucking Services
  • Christensen
  • Clean Harbors
  • Coffee Cup Travel Plaza
  • Comcar
  • Container Port
  • Cowan
  • Dana
  • Dart
  • Diamond Transportation System
  • Drivers Legal Plan
  • Estes Express Lines
  • Flagship Transportation
  • Forward Air
  • Gateway Service Center
  • GP Transco
  • Gypsum Wholesalers
  • Gypsum Express
  • Hogan Transport
  • Holland Motor Lines
  • Houston Community College
  • Interstate Trucker
  • J.B. Hunt
  • JBS Carriers
  • Kentucky Trucking Association
  • Koch Companies
  • Land Line
  • Liquid Transport
  • Martin Brower
  • Mercer Transportation Co
  • Milan Supply Chain Solutions
  • National Association of Independent Truckers
  • New World Van Lines
  • NFI Industries
  • Ozark Motor Lines
  • Paschall Truck Lines
  • Plycon Van Lines
  • Reinhardt Food Services
  • Ryder System
  • Sapp Bros.
  • St. Christopher Truckers Development & Relief Fund
  • Super Service
  • TMC Transportation
  • TMT Inc.
  • Traansmission
  • Tri-State Expedited Services
  • Trimac
  • U.S. Xpress Enterprises
  • Universal Truckload, Intermodal and Truckload Divisions 
  • Usher Transport
  • Werner Enterprises
  • Wheaton Van Lines
  • Wreaths Across America
  • XPO Logistics


  1. 1. Sharri Justice [ April 06, 2016 @ 01:56PM ]

    Excellent coverage of this historical event!

    Thank you to everyone who participated. We will continue to inform the nation's military that the trucking industry is the First Responders to great career opportunities regardless of their military specialty. Trucking Rocks!


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