In 2018, J & M Tank Lines was honored to participate in Wreaths Across America, where a J & M 2018 Kenworth T680 sleeper cab and a new dry van with special wrapping, were dedicated to the cause. Vice President of Maintenance, Billy Lollar, volunteered to drive and deliver the wreaths assigned to J & M. Lollar worked with Andrew Petrofsky to map out routes and deliveries throughout Florida. Over a 7-day period, Lollar was dispatched by Petrofsky to each stop and cemetery location, delivering wreaths for our fallen heroes.
“The impact of it was surreal. How appreciative everyone was at each delivery and receiving the wreaths was heartwarming to see,” said Lollar. “I wasn’t prepared for the personal impact it would have on me, seeing how big of a role J & M was making in honoring these heroes.”
After such success and appreciation from both parties last year, J & M Tank Lines decided to participate again in 2019. Petrofsky led this year’s participation by opening an opportunity for one of J & M’s military-veteran drivers to make the trip. Veteran drivers had the opportunity to show their interest in the program by submitting an application through their terminal managers.
“The Wreaths Across America program is an incredible way for J & M to not only give back to our community, but also honor the veterans that are part of our J & M family,” said Petrofsky. “We look forward to many more years of participating.”
Following an interview process; military-veteran and driver, John Howard, was selected to represent J & M Tank Lines. Howard served in the United States Marine Corps from 1982 to 1986 with the Golf Company, weapons platoon 2/8, 22 Marine Amphibious Unit in Grenada and Beirut, Lebanon. He bravely served his country as a part of the ‘83 Strike on Lebanon where his unit came under heavy fire from Syrian-held territory ending in the death of eight Marines and the injury of two others.
“It was a wonderful experience and I am honored that J & M chose me to represent our company by delivering these wreaths,” said Howard. “Every tombstone has a story to tell and I was proud to share some of my service and honor my fallen brethren.”
Howard was assigned 9 locations in Florida to deliver wreaths. He began his trip in Georgia and went to Mississippi to load the wreaths. Howard then started in North Florida, making his way south over a 7-day period, before returning to Georgia following his last stop on December 14.
“I have great pride in the ability to provide this service for those who have lost their lives defending our freedom,” said J & M Tank Lines CEO, Harold Sumerford, Jr. “Wreaths Across America provides us with a way to thank and remember our service men and women for generations to come.”
It is a privilege to have John as a member of the J & M Family along with so many other service members. A special thank you to those who have served this great nation as we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. For more information about Wreaths Across America or how you can participate, click here.