By Sandy Long
There is a lot of talk these days about patriots. A loose definition of patriot is one who supports their country. When one thinks of who is a patriot, one naturally thinks of the military both past and present, or a law enforcement officer or a firefighter. One might think that a politician is a patriot; but that might not be true. One would never think of a truck driver as being a patriot would they; truck drivers are bad people in most people’s minds outside of the industry and some people’s within it.
By the very job description, truck drivers are patriots because truck drivers deliver everything from apples to x-ray machines, supplying both the public and the military thereby supporting the country. Truck drivers risk their lives daily in service to the country without thought to do what the job entails. However, that is the tip of the iceberg describing a truck driver’s patriotism.
If a tornado hits a town, it is only a whipstitch of time before truckloads of supplies start coming in driven by truck drivers. A hurricane devastates an area like the Gulf States after Katrina, and you guessed it, within hours, truckers show up bringing in ice, water and other supplies at times waiting for days for roads to be cleared enough to get by if they cannot get around. When the towers fell, truck drivers not only risked their health to bring in supplies, but also brought in refrigerated trailers to leave for use as portable morgues.
When the country gets into a war, truck drivers gear up and move military equipment, ammunition, food and even soldier’s household goods across the country; some enlist or hire on with private contractors to go overseas to drive truck there, working under extreme conditions. Many truck drivers are military veterans.
The very nature of the job of driving a truck supplies time when the road stretches ahead of a truck driver for he or she to listen to news and think about what is going on in the country; many get politically involved. Many trucks have American flags somewhere on them or in them and some have patriotic sayings placed on them. Say something anti-American around almost all American born truck drivers and the fight will most likely be on.
Why is it then, with all of the proof that truck drivers are patriots, are truck drivers under attack by the government and the people truck drivers serve? Why are more regulations, taxes and laws being passed to make it difficult for a truck driver to do their job? Why does the interests of a small group of people who lobby against truck drivers, for the most part, take more precedence over the interests of 3 ½ million+ truck drivers? Why do the public, even down to the people truck drivers work for, revile truck drivers so much? It is a given that some media seem to focus only on the bad things that occur that a few truck drivers are involved in, but that does not make sense either.
There are only two answers possible; the attack on truck drivers can only be politically expedient to further the government’s agenda or about money. Either way, any attack on any patriot is not to be tolerated, whether it is the truck drivers, military, or any other group that serves the people and the country honestly and with dangerous hard labor. Patriots should be supported because without them, this country is doomed.