Wreaths Across America's Trucking Tributes Presents
Golden Services, LLC
The Wreaths Across America mission to remember, honor, and teach would not be possible without the transportation industry. Veterans’ wreaths move by planes, trains, and livestock trailers, but trucks and their professional drivers transport the lion’s share of America’s respect. Wreaths Across America highlights their steadfast commitment in the “Trucking Tributes” feature online and on Wreaths Across America Radio. Many of these drivers are veterans, and they tell us the truckload of fresh, balsam fir wreaths is the most precious cargo they transport in their careers.
Professional drivers and trucking companies give so much to the nation. In December, arguably the busiest time of the year for the transportation sector, the Wreaths Across America mission brings them together in an effort of unparalleled unity. That unity, combined with a “can-do” work ethic, makes it possible for Americans to honor millions of veterans laid to rest here at home and overseas. With over 2,500 participating locations, and Arlington National Cemetery, transportation logistics are immense.
Wreath-making in Maine begins near the end of October. As citizens sponsor veterans' wreaths for National Wreaths Across America Day, volunteers at locations on the West Coast or states like Alaska and Hawaii are among the first to receive shipments. Golden Services, LLC in Lakewood, Washington is a full-service moving and storage company that supports the Wreaths Across America mission. Kim Drangstveit is their General Manager. "A majority of our customers are members of the military and their families, and we have veterans who work for us. We have people who work for us whose parents are veterans." Kim fits into the latter category and explains her father served and didn't meet her until she was six-months-old.
Truckloads of veterans' wreaths are received and stored by Golden Services at their port facility in Fife, Washington. As drivers come to pick up the wreath boxes, they share stories of where they're headed with the wreaths and friendships made with other volunteers. "To hear their stories of involvement adds to what we're doing here and its importance," Kim shared. "This whole thing is really very touching to me to see the amount of people involved from all walks of life." Kim explains another fringe benefit of being on the receiving end of thousands of boxes of fresh wreaths. "It makes the warehouse smell wonderful, and it really helps kickstart the season for us. It's a way for us to give back to the community and helps us think of others." In addition to wreath storage and loading shipments, Golden Services has trucked wreaths to participating locations in the region. Kim shares the mission to remember, honor, and teach during wreath-laying activities. "I invite anybody I know is a veteran to come out with me to lay wreaths. I mention it to people in my church who may be looking for ways to volunteer. I'm also a community service volunteer for our local fire department and I spread the word there. I tell them what it means to me and what I think it means for others based on what I've seen for reactions on wreath-laying day."
Kim and her family have a rich history of military service, and Golden Services is surrounded by military personnel. "We're so close to Fort Lewis here in Lakewood, and Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Oak Harbor, and then there's Fairchild Air Force Base in the Spokane Valley," Kim explained. "It was a unanimous decision here at Golden to get involved with Wreaths Across America three years ago, and it's been a wonderful organization for us to get involved with."
Thank you, Kim, and all those at Golden Services who support the mission. You can hear Kim's full interview on Trucking Tributes with Susan Patten. Trucking Tributes can be heard every Tuesday at 11:00 AM, and again at 4:00 PM EST exclusively on Wreaths Across America Radio.
Tune in to "Remember, Honor, Teach" with Wreaths Across America Radio's Michael Hale and Jimmy Mac, the 4th Friday of each month at 10am ET on The Dave Nemo Show, SiriusXM 146. Next up--a conversation with Kim Drangstveit on 3/26/21. Missed it? Listen for up to 2 weeks after broadcast via the SiriusXM app or internet player!