Wreaths Across America's Trucking Tributes Presents Jim Ward with TCA
The Wreaths Across America mission to remember, honor, and teach is impossible 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. Many of these drivers are veterans and say the truckload of fresh, balsam-fir wreaths is the most precious cargo they transport in their careers. Wreaths Across America highlights their steadfast commitment in the “Trucking Tributes” feature online and on Wreaths Across America Radio.
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. Combined with a “can-do” work ethic, that unity 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.
Jim Ward knows a good portion of the trucking companies supporting the mission are truckload carriers. Jim is the President of D.M. Bowman, Inc. and Chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). “We’re a nation-wide association, and our motto is Truckload Strong,” Jim confidently states. “It’s an honor to be selected and recognized as the TCA Chairman. TCA was introduced to the Wreaths Across America initiative by former TCA Chair, Barry Pottle. Most of our members are patriotic individuals and we saw this as a great way to help give back and move the mission in support of the families who have served, and in honor of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.” Jim grew up in a patriotic family with military service dating back to the Civil War. “I never served myself, but my father was in the Navy and my father-in-law was in the Army. Over the last five years, from our members participation to the annual Gala, TCA has donated almost $800,000 toward the Wreaths Across America initiative,” Jim shared. “In conjunction with Pilot Flying J, we’ve been able to host the driver’s reception in Washington D.C. the night before Wreath Day at Arlington, and we’re committed to doing that again this year.” Both Jim and his wife have participated in wreath-laying ceremonies referring to it as, “a solemn yet, rewarding occasion.”
Jim says he enjoyed playing with trucks and trains in his youth and that passion never really left him. “I went right out of school into the railroad industry, so diesel’s been in my blood from an early age. Don Bowman actually credits himself with teaching me about the ‘real’ transportation sector,” Jim chuckled. “Don founded D.M. Bowman in 1959 with the goal of one day operating ten trucks. Today, he’s gone from management by doing to management by directing.” In 2019, D.M. Bowman celebrated its 60th anniversary with a loyal customer base operating four-hundred trucks, and nine terminals. “Our motto is, We Carry Through,” Jim explained. “Don had the foresight to join TCA not long after its inception and we’re celebrating 55 years of being a member of the association. We’ve taken a whole lot more away from the association then we’ve been able to give back. We all face the same issues, and it’s important to reach out to someone whose gone through something similar. Having a conversation about it can be extremely beneficial to you and your company. TCA provides great networking and education opportunities for like-minded individuals running a transportation & logistics company. There’s always room to get better.”
Jim says he’s eager to welcome drivers, suppliers, and vendors to the annual TCA convention, TruckLoad 2021 in Las Vegas. He’ll be encouraging colleagues in the industry to get involved in some way with the Wreaths Across America mission.
You can hear Jim’s full interview on Trucking Tributes, heard every Tuesday at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM EDT, exclusively on Wreaths Across America Radio.
Tune in to hear Michael Hale, Jim Ward, and Jimmy Mac on "Remember, Honor, Teach" Friday, August 27 at 10am ET on The Dave Nemo Show--Sirius XM 146.