For the eighth consecutive year, Kenworth teamed with Fastport and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program to find America’s top rookie military veteran who made the successful transition into a civilian truck driving career.
WASHINGTON, December 21, 2023 (Newswire.com)
Fastport announces that distinguished Army veteran Brandon Meredith, a driver for Slay Transportation, received this year’s “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” award during a special ceremony held at the American Trucking Associations’ headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Following a 20-year career in the U.S. Army, Brandon retired as a Sergeant First Class (SFC) with marketable skills and could have pursued many paths, but instead chose to follow his childhood dream of driving a tractor-trailer. In an emotional acceptance speech, with his wife and daughters by his side, Brandon shared that his father lost his life while operating a commercial vehicle and becoming a professional driver is a tribute to his memory. Brandon trained at Fayetteville Technical Community College and is currently a tanker driver and delivery professional with Slay Transportation Co.
In recognition of Kenworth’s 100th anniversary, Brandon was awarded a T680 Signature Edition truck equipped with a 76-inch high-roof sleeper. Additionally, the truck has the PACCAR Powertrain featuring the PACCAR MX-13 engine and was the first T680 Signature Edition produced at Kenworth’s Chillicothe, Ohio, plant in honor of the company’s 100th anniversary. With the Kenworth T680 Signature Edition truck, Brandon is well on his way to accomplishing his goal of becoming a successful owner-operator.
“Veterans are a special breed of human beings. I’ve made some lifelong friends throughout this award. I’m a third-generation truck driver now. My father lost his life driving a truck, and while that was a hard time in my life, this profession is something I’ve always wanted to pursue. I couldn’t have asked for a better year,” said Meredith.
“It was an honor to present Brandon Meredith with the keys to the 100th Anniversary T680 Signature Edition on behalf of Kenworth and our employees. We thank him for his distinguished military service, and wish all the best in his trucking career,” said Kyle Kimball, Kenworth director of marketing.
“I’m inspired by the stories of our veterans, like our finalists who represent the very best of our country. America is still leading the way. We are still the beacon on the hill, the shining light that is creating hope and opportunity for so many people across the world, and the Kenworth T680 Brandon is driving away in today is simply one example of how we are leading the way,” said Eric Eversole, president of Hiring Our Heroes.
“Brandon has an impressive military record and his dedication to excellence has continued into his chosen civilian career as a professional truck driver. He is an undeniable ambassador for the program and will be an excellent representative for his fellow veterans in the industry,” said Brad Bentley, president of Fastport.
Under the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence program, all five finalists participated in the Washington, D.C. awards ceremony where their military service was honored. The first runner-up, Ondrae Meyers/U.S. Marine Corps/CRST, was awarded a $10,000 prize, and finalists Jessica White/U.S. Army/Stevens Transport; LaTravis Wilcox/U.S. Marine Corps/Prime, Inc.; Todd Kraus/U.S. Army/Werner Enterprises received $5,000 each.
About Fastport, Inc.
Fastport Inc. solves America’s toughest recruiting challenges through research, technology, and people. Fastport is also a U.S. Department of Labor Industry Intermediary and a part of the Centers of Excellence to support registered apprenticeship development and sustainability. For more information about Fastport and Registered Apprenticeships, visit www.fastport.com or www.nationalapprenticeship.org.
To learn more about the event and our partners, visit www.transitiontrucking.org, Kenworth.com, and HiringOurHeroes.org.