Wreaths Across America receives no government funding to support operations. Motivated and dedicated patriots across the country and at locations overseas power the Maine-based nonprofit organization. The mission to remember, honor, and teach is carried out daily by millions of citizens who care deeply for those who have served our nation in the armed forces, and their families. Some of these remarkable individuals are veterans themselves or come from military families while others are driven by a deep sense of patriotism and community service. 

Placing fresh, hand-made balsam remembrance wreaths on the headstones of veterans across the country in December requires tremendous logistics and unyielding support from the trucking industry.

Wreaths Across America shows its gratitude and appreciation for all those involved in transporting America's respect with "Trucking Tributes." These stories will introduce you to the men and women of the industry who make the mission possible.

A music educator by trade and trucker by heritage, Sherri Garner Brumbaugh is the President and CEO of Garner Trucking in Findlay, Ohio.

Her parents, Vernon and Regina Garner represented the true American dream. They were a young entrepreneurial couple creating a business to share with future generations of their family. Garner Trucking started in 1960 with one truck and has grown to over one hundred trucks and four hundred trailers today.

Sherri's love of music resulted in her achieving a BA in music education from Ohio State University. She worked as a band director for five years, but the family business needed her support.

"I think of my fleet as one big marching band," Sherri chuckled. She developed those leadership skills as she learned the ins and outs of the company over the years.

"I started as a part-time secretary in our accounting department, moved into operations and managed our brokerage and expedite business. Then there was a need to update our computers so I facilitated our IT expansion and upgrade and that lead to me working with our marketing and sales department."

In 2007, Sherri lost her father to cancer and her mother appointed her as President of Garner Trucking in the fall of 2008.

Sherri says they were introduced to Wreaths Across America when the Truckload Carriers Association put out a call to action during an annual meeting.

"I volunteered our company to take a truckload from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery about four years ago," Sherri explains. "We've done that truck, and this last year we added another load and brought that back to our community in Findlay. It was my son Jon's Eagle Scout project to bring wreaths to the local cemetery here, and he coordinated the effort on National Wreaths Across America Day. I've also served on the TCA Communications and Image Committee which is responsible for the fundraising Gala for Wreaths Across America. In 2014, I participated in the annual wreath escort from Maine to Arlington, and that was a moving experience for me. I guess you can say I've been very involved with Wreaths Across America."

Approximately ten to twelve percent of Sherri's fleet drivers are veterans and there are veterans and reservists working in the office. Military service touches her personal life as well.

"My uncles served in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. I had a cousin who was a Marine who gave the ultimate sacrifice of his life, and my husband's father served in the Navy." 

Sherri says to remember the fallen and honor those who serve is important, but because of her education background, the teach objective of the Wreaths Across America mission resonates with her the most.

"We need to reach out to young people, so they understand the freedoms they enjoy and what those sacrifices are to allow them to have those freedoms."

Garner says the employees of Garner Trucking, Inc. take great pride in their involvement with Wreaths Across America.

"It's not about hauling a load for profit. It's about giving back to our community, our country, and showing appreciation for our veterans."

Sherri says Maple Grove Cemetery in Findlay, Ohio has a lot of work to do to cover several thousand veterans' graves, and her son continues his volunteer efforts to collect more wreath sponsorships to honor those fallen heroes.

Sherri encourages other truckload carriers in the country to step up and get involved in the mission to remember, honor and teach.

Thank you, Sherri Garner and Garner Trucking, Inc. for your patriotism and tireless support of Wreaths Across America. You can hear more from Sherri in our "Trucking Tributes" on Wreaths Across America Radio weekdays at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM Eastern.

Read More