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.

Wreaths Across America is often questioned about the source of its strength and success and the answer is always the same; "It's the patriotic purpose and dedicated volunteers who power the mission."

Star Traywick Nance is one of those citizens who exemplify a hard work ethic and love of the nation and she's seen a lot of it over the past forty-two years as a professional driver. Star says it's the freedom she enjoys the most about the job and meeting people along the journey.

"My stepdad, who I call Dad, taught me how to drive a truck when I was eighteen years old and I've been at it ever since. I love it! My little company is a memorial to my grandfather, grandmother, Dad, my brother, my aunts, and uncles; all their names are on my truck," Star explains. "It has a veterans theme on it."

Star is the owner-operator for Dragon Riders Express which services Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery with her truck "Cricket."

Star says she has sponsored wreaths and will continue to do that, but she wanted to get more involved in the effort. In 2015, she picked up her first truckload of America's respect at a warehouse in Kansas. Fresh, handmade balsam fir remembrance wreaths were shipped down from Maine earlier to make it easier for drivers in other parts of the country to pick up for delivery to their cemeteries. In 2016, Star made the journey to Maine to pick up her load.

"Oh my God those people up there were so nice," Star recalls. "I got to tour one of the factories where the wreaths were being made. I actually timed one of the gentlemen up there and he made a wreath in less than two minutes. It was amazing to watch how they make these wreaths."

"I get into San Antonio usually the Tuesday before National Wreaths Across America Day because we have two convoys to get together. Both the Patriot Guard Riders and the Fallen Saints motorcycle groups get them organized along with Judy Carlile and she puts together an amazing ceremony. We essentially load in and stage on Friday with the first convoy then on Saturday we all return, and once the ceremony is over, we start laying our wreaths."

Volunteers like Star and Judy work daily throughout the year to raise funds to sponsor enough remembrance wreaths so no hometown hero is left behind and forgotten. That effort is happening now to cover veterans' headstones at Arlington National Cemetery and for over twelve-hundred other participating locations like Ft. Sam Houston.

Star says the mission objective to teach motives her to keep giving and to encourage others to give too.

"If we don't teach this younger generation that freedom is not free they're going to forget and not understand the sacrifice made by these men and women who keep us free and safe. I don't know where this country would be if not for the brave people who step up and volunteer to serve in our military. It's really scary to think of where we'd be without a powerful military."

Thank you, Star Traywick Nance and Dragon Riders Express for your patriotism and tireless support of the Wreaths Across America mission to remember, honor and teach.

You can hear more from Star and our other patriots in our "Trucking Tributes" on Wreaths Across America Radio at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM Eastern Monday-Friday.

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