Wreaths Across America's Trucking Tributes Presents Rock Solid Transport
“Seeing the pictures and videos is moving and all, but to see it in person is 100 percent better!” Professional driver Jeramy Zwiefelhofer and his wife Erica participated in the Annual Wreath Escort, leaving Maine last December. “It was jaw-dropping,” Erica shared. “I don’t even have words to describe the way the community came together up there.”
“Community” and “unity” are two words frequently used when speaking of Wreaths Across America, and a third descriptor is “family.” Every year the Wreaths Across America family of volunteers grows, and members of the trucking industry are among some of the most dedicated. Jeramy and Erica are from Wisconsin, and they were recommended for a Trucking Tributes feature by another volunteer in Kentucky, Ann Hamlin.
Jeramy’s been driving for about eight years for Rock Solid Transport. He started as a company driver, then bought his own rig. He’d heard about Wreaths Across America through Melissa and Ross at Rock Solid. “Melissa’s our dispatcher and Ross has his truck, and he’s in the military. They’ve always been proactive about causes like this and also support the Special Olympics Convoy here in Wisconsin. They’ve been out to Maine and were telling everyone about it.” Rock Solid now has five trucks involved in hauling the symbols of America’s respect for our fallen.
Jeramy and Erica headed for Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Kentucky. “As soon as we finished, I talked to Melissa and asked her to sign me up again and asked to get Camp Nelson again,” Jeramy explains. “Ann and those volunteers were great down in Lexington. The convoy through Maine was great and something I’ll always remember, and the convoy out to Camp Nelson was breath-taking with the police officers and honor guard. There’s was even a jeep club out there. The hospitality shown to us was amazing. I can’t wait to go back and seem them again. I text back and forth with Ann about once a month or so. You’re doing a great thing by hauling the wreaths, but then you also feel like you’re gaining family and friends out of these people you’ve never met before. The relationships you build are truly amazing.”
Jeramy shares what his experience was like arriving in Maine. “Melissa is in touch with Wreaths Across America, and she makes it simple for us. She had our rate cons all figured out for us, and all five Rock Solid Trucks showed up within eight hours of each other which was nice because we got to hang out with each other as our trucks were loaded. It probably wasn’t as simple for Melissa as I make it sound, but when you have someone as dedicated as she is, it makes it simple. Wreaths Across America has it figured out too.” Jeramy says all-in-all in 2019 Rock Solid Transport hauled 21,000 veterans’ wreaths from Maine to 35 different participating cemeteries across the country from Kentucky to Wisconsin and places in between.
While Jeramy did the driving, Erica was able to work remotely from the rig, but when it was time to unload that truck, she became a dedicated volunteer. “They already had it organized how they wanted the truck to get unloaded. There were so many volunteers, and everyone was hands-on and just dove into the truck to get it unloaded. I couldn’t stand by the sidelines and watch; I had to help. I was raised as a country girl. I’m not afraid of getting my boots a little dirty if I have to. So, I jumped up into the back of the truck to help get it done and let others take a break.” It was precisely that kind of “get-it-done” attitude that got the attention of Wreaths Across America volunteer Ann Hamlin.
Jeramy says he experienced another example of how Wreaths Across America makes connections when last year’s event concluded. While eating at a truck stop, he saw another driver wearing a Wreaths Across America hat. After chatting with this total stranger, both men agreed they needed to help spread the mission to be sure more headstones receive veterans’ wreaths.
Thank you Jeramy, Erica, and the entire Rock Solid team for all you do to help move the mission forward. You can hear the full interview with Jeramy and Erica on Trucking Tributes heard exclusively on Wreaths Across America Radio on Tuesdays at 11 AM, and again at 4 PM eastern.