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 introduce you to the men and women of the industry who make the mission possible.

That's right! This edition of "Trucking Tributes" should be called transportation tributes because this story is about moving America's respect on our country's rail lines to ensure no fallen hero is ever forgotten.

You've learned from our "Trucking Tributes" feature stories the logistics that drive the mission to remember, honor and teach across this nation are immense. The veterans' balsam fir wreaths sponsored by citizens are a fresh commodity that needs to travel in a very short time span from Columbia Falls, Maine to more than 1,400 participating destinations throughout the country and overseas.

Terry Dupuy is a self-proclaimed "Army brat" and the Business Development Manager for Consumer Products at BNSF Railway. BNSF Railway is one of North America's leading transportation freight companies operating roughly 32,000 route miles in 28 states and three Canadian provinces.

Terry's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all served as combat veterans. Even though Terry is in Texas, the annual wreath-laying services at Arlington National Cemetery deeply impact him and his family. Terry's father, Trevor Dupuy was a U.S. Army officer who did three combat tours in Southeast Asia. His grandfather and great-grandfather were military historians who taught at West Point Military Academy.

"My grandfather and great-grandfather are buried at Arlington," he explains. "Their military service is a great source of pride for us and we're honored their service is recognized. Even for folks who don't have a direct connection, the Wreaths Across America program is a great way to publicize the sacrifices our military veterans make. It's a great way to honor both the folks who made the ultimate sacrifice and those who are serving today to protect our freedom."

The wreath-laying is also a source of pride for the more than 7,000 veterans who are employed by BNSF Railway. Terry says veterans make up about 18 percent of the Berkshire Hathaway company's workforce. Wreaths Across America gives them the opportunity to recognize veterans across the country but most importantly says Terry to honor their employees who served.

BNSF Railway works directly with motor carriers and for the last eight years, Terry's been hearing about Wreaths Across America through the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). After doing a little research he realized several BNSF customers were involved and excited about what they were contributing to the organization's mission. When BNSF agreed last year to offer some line haul services at no cost it allowed some of their customers to increase their capacity to haul more wreath loads because BNSF's contributions eliminated their expenses for cross-country treks.

"The trucking companies provide us with the container or trailer and they handle the pickup and door-to-door delivery of the wreaths," Terry explains. "We might provide that line haul service from Chicago to Los Angeles for example and our trucking partners handle the rest. I think when we formalized our agreement last year to become involved with Wreaths Across America we were just scratching the surface of ways BNSF employees can help further spread the presence of Wreaths Across America on the West coast."

You can hear more about BNSF Railway from Terry in "Trucking Tributes" which airs Tuesdays at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM EST on Wreaths Across America Radio.

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