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Finalists emerge for top rookie military veteran driver

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Kenworth and its partners recently named the top 10 finalists vying for the title of America’s top rookie military veteran in the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” contest.

The recognition program, sponsored by Kenworth, the FASTPORT Trucking Track Mentoring Program and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes Program, seeks to identify the top US rookie military veteran who has successfully transitioned from active duty to driving for a commercial fleet.

The 10 finalists, listed with their military branch of service and current truck fleet, are:

  • Chris Bacon, US Marines, TMC Transportation
  • Thomas Blitch, US Navy and Naval Reserves, Werner Enterprises
  • Wade Bumgarner, US Navy, Veriha Trucking
  • Joseph Campbell, US Marines and US Army, Roehl Transport
  • Keso Going, US Army, Epes Transport
  • Steve Harris, US Marines, Stevens Transport
  • Kevin Lassing, US Army, US Xpress
  • Maliq Melton, US Army, Melton Truck Lines
  • Monte Morrone, US Army and US Marines, Prime Inc
  • Tim Raub, US Navy, Averitt Express

“This year’s competition in the ‘Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence’ program features an outstanding group of 10 finalists, who are representing their fleet and branch of military service,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “On behalf of Kenworth, we appreciate their dedication to excel as truck drivers in their new profession, and we are grateful for their military service to the country.”

For the fourth consecutive year, Kenworth will provide ‘The Driver’s Truck’—a fully loaded Kenworth T680 with a 76-inch sleeper—to serve as the award.  The Kenworth T680 features the complete PACCAR Powertrain with a PACCAR MX-13 engine, PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission and PACCAR 40K tandem axles. 

Drivers were nominated by trucking companies that made a hiring commitment and pledge to hire veterans on truckingtrack.org, members of the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, or a Commercial Vehicle Training Association-member school. 

“It is important for organizations across the United States to especially reach out to our veterans to help them make a smooth transition back into civilian life,” said Brad Bentley FASTPORT president. “This is one way that the trucking industry is doing its part.”

The top three finalists will be revealed during the Great American Trucking Show (GATS) Aug 22-24 in Dallas. All 10 drivers will receive special recognition at the President George W Bush Library during a tour and reception.

The final winner will be announced in December.

For more information on the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award program, visit transitiontrucking.org.



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