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COLUMN: Thank our heroes of the highways
GUEST COLUMN

COLUMN: Thank our heroes of the highways

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Over the last several months we have all been touched by the global coronavirus pandemic. Together we are facing truly unprecedented times which have dramatically impacted our families, our communities, our businesses and most importantly our way of life.

While those in positions of leadership continue to struggle to manage the reality in which we are living, trucks are safely and efficiently doing the job that allows all of us to enjoy some semblance of “normal” as we see stocked shelves everywhere. A poignant reminder of the value of the trucking industry.

Throughout this crisis trucks delivering essential products have remained a powerful and consistent beacon of hope. During this time of uncertainty, seeing big trucks on the roads is a stable and valuable reminder that something has remained the same. Trucking companies throughout this state and nation have continued to respond to a constantly changing environment because of their unwavering commitment to their customers, their employees, and the many communities they serve. Upholding these important promises, quite frankly, is what we do in trucking … every single day.

However, the professional men and women who proudly get behind the wheel of these big trucks are the real heroes. These valued individuals rarely get the appreciation they deserve yet that never deters them from doing their job in a safe and professional manner day after day.

A truck driver understands and appreciates the hard work and dedication that is required to be a true professional. They know the obstacles they will face every day as they crawl up into their “office” and endure a myriad of challenges (weather, traffic, unrealistic deadlines) that most of us could not handle for even a few hours. They know the average person does not give it a second thought when they reach for a loaf a bread or a gallon of milk that a truck driver played a role in that transaction. They know that they will miss out on family events and holiday activities because trucks are rolling seven days a week, 365 days a year. They know it is not an easy job yet for many of these professionals, the satisfaction in knowing the important role they play far outweighs the many sacrifices they make to ensure you and I have an unprecedented quality of life.

Truck drivers are essential, reliable, hardworking, and demonstrate time and again their selfless passion to serving this country. Truck drivers are worthy of our appreciation, gratitude, and respect. We are the beneficiaries of their daily dedication, their commitment, and their unrelenting drive to move this country in a safe and efficient manner. If that does not define a “hero” then I am not sure what does.

While we need to show our gratitude every day, we have a special opportunity to show our appreciation and support on Sept. 13–18 during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Simply acknowledging the important role of a truck driver is an important step in the right direction. But during this national week of recognition, I hope you will go one step further in recognizing and honoring these incredibly dedicated men and women. Offer a handshake, treat them to a cup a coffee, give them extra room and courtesy on the highway, or leave a message of appreciation on the Iowa Motor Truck Association’s Facebook page (iowamotortruck). While the average truck driver will never seek out that pat on the back, we now have the chance to show them the appreciation, gratitude, and respect that is long overdue.

Remember … without truck drivers, America stops!

Brenda Neville is president and CEO of the Iowa Motor Truck Association.

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