Owner-operators, fleets honor veterans with patriotic rigs

Jim Allen's 1991 International 9670
Karmak president and CEO Jim Allen's "Freedom Truck" is but one example of many across the trucking industry that shows support for veterans and the military.

While government offices, banks, schools and some businesses may well close to observe Veterans Day and honor those who served in the U.S. military, the trucking business largely keeps rolling.

That doesn't mean, however, that the industry doesn't do its part to recognize veterans. Major truck stop chains honor veterans with deals and meals, and organizations like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association are using a portion of membership fees collected during its annual Truckers for Troops campaign to send care packages overseas to active-duty military and support veterans organizations on home soil.

Owner-operators and larger fleets also do their part to show support day-in, day-out, with patriotic graphics on their trucks and trailers. Here, catch a sampling of those doing just that. For regular Overdrive readers, some of these will look familiar, but others are appearing on our pages for the first time.

Mark and Holley O'Donnell's 2018 Peterbilt 579Mark and Holley O'Donnell's "Family Tree" 2018 Peterbilt 579, which is a tribute to the couple's own family history in the U.S. military, as well as a tribute to the American trucking industry. The O'Donnells submitted this photo via Overdrive's Reader Rigs gallery in 2021.

MSR Transport patriotic rigSmall fleet MSR Transport, owned by Rob Ahlers, two years ago received this 2022 Western Star 5700XE, which is one of Daimler Trucks' Cleveland, North Carolina plant's Ride of Pride series of patriotically decorated rigs. See and hear more about this rig in this post and its accompanying podcast, or listen to the 2021 Veterans Day edition of Overdrive Radio just below.

Glen Horack's Marine Corp themed 2022 5792022 Owner-Operator of the Year Glen Horack's 2022 Peterbilt 579 is tastefully decorated in a theme that reflects the veteran's own Marine Corps background.

Sean McEndree's Band of Brothers 2006 Peterbilt 379Another familiar truck to regular readers, the "Band of Brothers" 2006 Peterbilt 379. It was featured on Overdrive in 2016, when it was on display at the Guilty By Association Truck Show, and at the time was owned by Sean McEndree.

Ed Harwell's Service and Sacrifice 1988 Freightliner FLTThe “Service and Sacrifice” 1988 Freightliner FLT has made the truck show rounds through the years and features numerous nods to the military and veterans. When it was featured on Overdrive in 2018, it was owned by Ed Harwell.

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North Carolina-headquartered Cargo Transporters entered this patriotic rig into Overdrive sister publication CCJ's Five Flashiest Fleets contest, sponsored by 3M. Public voting for the contest is open through Nov. 14.North Carolina-headquartered Cargo Transporters entered this patriotic rig into Overdrive sister publication CCJ's Five Flashiest Fleets contest, sponsored by 3M. Public voting for the contest is open through Nov. 14.

A.N. Webber patriotic truckThis patriotic truck is also in contention in CCJ's Five Flashiest Fleets contest.

HJ Towing and Recovery's patriotic tow truckAlso a part of Five Flashiest Fleets, this patriotic-themed tow truck of HJ Towing and Recovery.

Melton Truck Lines' patriotic schemeWith an American flag waving in the wind and a bald eagle prominently displayed on the side of the sleeper, this rig from Melton Truck Lines, also submitted as part of CCJ's Five Flashiest Fleets, screams patriotism.

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