It’s so very fitting that so many commercial trucks in our great country – whose independence we honor this upcoming weekend – are decked out as rolling tributes to our military men and women, from all branches of the U.S. armed forces.
I’ve penned quite a few stories over the years about such trucks, whether owned by fleets or independent operators, as well as the ones built by OEMs as tributes to our men and women in uniform, such as the Freightliner Trucks “Ride of Pride” tractors seen below:
Then there are the “Ride of Freedom” tractors crafted by the workers at The Volvo Trucks New River Valley (NRV) factory down in Dublin, VA.
For 24 years, NRV employees and the UAW Local 2069 Veteran Committee designed and installed special graphics on a Volvo tractor that accompanies a motorcade of about 160 motorcycles from the plant to Washington, D.C., during the annual “Run for the Wall” motorcycle rally every Memorial Day weekend.
It's a fitting tribute, I think, having a big rig lead the way for such a rally - blazing a trail so to speak over the long miles of asphalt stretching from southern Virginia all the way up to our nation's capital.
And if you are unfamiliar with the “wall,” the term references the Vietnam Veterans memorial; perhaps the most emotional war memorial site to be found anywhere in Washington D.C..
The graphics on the 2015 Ride of Freedom truck – a Volvo VNL 670 – really says it all when it comes to such vehicles.
Not only does it serve as a rolling “salute” to all military service members, it offers special recognition to those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The graphics even contains images of military dogs, an oft-times overlooked combatant serving alongside the many battlefields all over the world trod by U.S. soldiers.
[Though that is an oversight that is about to be corrected.]
It is appropriate, then, ahead of our celebration of Independence Day to remember who did the real work securing the initial freedom of our country back in 1776 and who’s kept it free all the long years since.
And it is rolling iron designed as military tributes – viewed countless times as it travels over the countless miles of U.S. roads – that remind us of the countless sacrifices made by our military to keep us free.