Wreaths Across America's
Trucking Tributes Presents Interstate
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. For the past few years, Wreaths Across America has highlighted 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.
Our 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 for the organization are immense.
Interstate Moving/Relocation/Logistics out of Springfield, Virginia, does it all! A global relocation and logistics company, Interstate has supported the Wreaths Across America mission to remember, honor, and teach for several years. Interstate helps with cleanup, cross-dock operations, and transporting truckloads of America's respect in the form of fresh, balsam fir veterans' wreaths every December.
"It's something we look forward to every year," states Duane Bailey, Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development. "Our participation extends beyond the simple transport of the wreaths. We donate the use of our facility so the honor fleet drivers coming out of Arlington have a place to stop and unload the corrugated packing materials used to protect the wreaths before returning their trailers back into service. In partnership with companies like International Paper Company, Greif Containerboard Mills, and Cowan Systems, we recycle those boxes and donate the proceeds generated from those recycling efforts back to Wreaths Across America for use in purchasing additional wreaths in subsequent years." Kris Edney is the Director of Service Center Operations for Interstate. He grew up in Germany while his father served in the Army, so the Wreaths Across America mission is personal. "Freedom is not free," he shared. "When you see our employees and local vendors come together and volunteer their time for this effort, it just sends chills up your spine." Kris says the cleanup operation at Interstate is quite a system to behold. "The Springfield facility lot can hold about forty trucks and trailers. We empty that area, stage empty trailers in the compound, and get the forklifts moving in what we call the "pit." We can empty four trucks at once. From the time the back of the trailer is opened up, contents cleaned out, and the trailer is closed up again is about four-minute process. It's controlled chaos."
Interstate employs many veterans. Employees and their families participate in wreath-laying activities every year. "I wouldn't change it for the world," Kris expressed. "As I said, freedom isn't free, and we love to be able to give back where we can. Nothing will stop this country from being able to show our love for the people who have given the ultimate sacrifice by laying the wreaths on those headstones." You can hear Kris and Duane's full interview on Trucking Tributes, which airs every Tuesday at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM EDT 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 Kris Edney himself on 2/26/21. Missed it? Listen for up to 2 weeks after broadcast via the SiriusXM app or internet player!