Big Rig Bucket List: Military and Trucking Veteran Takes a Ride with TMC Driver
This week TMC had the special opportunity to help Eugene VanMeter, a Military veteran and retired truck driver residing in an assisted living facility in Joplin, MO cross off his ultimate bucket list item—drive a big rig again!
Eugene served as a Staff Sergeant in the Korean Conflict and drove a semi truck for over 35 years. During his time as a truck driver, he hauled a variety of freight; steel, livestock, cars and fuel, to name a few, all over the United States.
Foxberry Terrace, Eugene’s assisted living facility, reached out to our Joplin terminal to see if they could bring Eugene out for a visit so he could get a taste of his beloved time out on the open road. Of course TMC couldn’t wait for the opportunity to honor a veteran and a driver that paved the way for our industry today, so on Monday, September 10, we welcomed Eugene for an afternoon of trucking with a tenured TMC driver and Military veteran, Joseph (Rocky) Rawls.
Chris Teel, Joplin Service Manager (left); Eugene VanMeter (center); Rocky Rawls, TMC Driver (right)
Here is what they had to say...
“Thank you TMC-Joplin and all of your staff for going above and beyond to make this happen, honoring truck drivers of the past and our veterans! Eugene is gracious to have spent his afternoon with you, learning all the things that have changed, enjoying the ride down the open road and visiting truck stops. He and his family will forever cherish all of the reminders you sent home today for a lifetime!”
Eugene was fascinated by the technology in the Peterbilt 579 he took a cruise in, saying, “if you would have told me trucks would be this way in the future, I’d told you that you were crazy!”
Chris Teel, Joplin Service Manager (right), showing Eugene the engine in the Peterbilt 579
Eugene has two sons, five grandchildren and six great grandchildren, several of whom were in attendance for this event. We are so grateful to have shared this experience with him!
A special thanks to Foxberry Terrace employee, Marilyn Coleman, who is also the wife of TMC maintenance technician William Coleman; Director of Nursing at Foxberry, Lindsey Delmont, as well as Stephanie Miller, Foxberry Administrator. We also want to appreciate TMC Service Manager, Chris Teel, TMC driver Rocky Rawls and his Fleet Manager Tracy Good-Stojanik for helping make this dream come true for a very deserving veteran!