The Transition Trucking award recognizes rookie truck drivers who are also military veterans. It is presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program, Kenworth and FASTPORT. Campbell was announced as the winner during a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hall of Flags, Friday, Dec. 6.
“I can’t express how big of an honor this is. It’s not for me. It’s for my brothers and sisters who can’t be here,” Campbell said. He went on to honor his fellow service members, saying, “I feel the spirit of my brothers and sisters right here. I carry them in my heart every day because I’m lucky. I truly believe I am the lucky one because I’m standing here talking to you.”
Campbell, of Elgin, South Carolina, spent 24 years in the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army. When he retired he still wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself, and trucking fit that bill.
“Coming from the military I was looking for something that would be bigger than me. Yeah, I could have gotten an office job. I could’ve sat behind a desk. But I wanted something bigger, and I felt like trucking gave me the opportunity to do something that keeps me in that same feeling I had in the military where I was part of a bigger mission,” Campbell said.
Kevin Nixon, president of Roehl Transport’s flatbed and specialized division, said he nominated Campbell for the Transition Trucking award because of his flawless service and consistent availability for the fleet’s customers.
“Joe shared with us that when he first enlisted, he was prepared to have his blood on the American flag. He said that he was and is still prepared to lay down his life in the service of his country, his fellow citizens, and the ideals that make this country great. It is that unabashed selflessness that makes Joe a great American, soldier, driver and teammate,” Nixon said.
The first runner-up for the award was Steve Harris of Stevens Transport, second runner-up was Wade Bumgarner of Veriha Trucking, and third runner up was Chris Bacon of TMC Transportation. Harris received a $10,000 prize. Bumgarner and Harris each received $5,000.