Four military veterans have been named top finalists for the 2018 Transition Trucking: Driving For Excellence award.
Veterans Mordaunt “Platt” Brabner, Summar Hanks, Quinton Ward and Christopher Young were announced as finalists Aug. 24 during a ceremony at the Great American Trucking Show, making it the first time in the award’s history that there have been four top finalists instead of three due to a tie.
“We had something that happened this year that’s never occurred before in my involvement,” said Fastport President Brad Bentley about the tie. Bentley said they rely on a panel of multiple judges to try to avoid a tie “but we couldn’t do that this year,” he said.
The award is a partnership between Fastport, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative, and Kenworth. The award recognizes rookie truck drivers who are U.S. military veterans.
The winner will be announced Dec. 14 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the Hall of Flags. They will receive a fully-loaded 2018 Kenworth T-680 valued at $155,000.
The winner will be decided via public voting, which runs Oct. 1 – Nov. 1 on the Transition Trucking website.
Mordaunt “Platt” Brabner: Brabner drives for TMC Transportation and served in the Marines and the Navy. He spent time as a Naval Flight Officer before honorably retiring from the Navy. Brabner has bachelor degrees in professional aeronautics and electronic engineering from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He also has an executive master of business administration (EMBA) from the University of Nebraska.
Summar Hanks: U.S. Xpress driver Summar Hanks served as an information management specialist in the U.S. Air Force. Hanks started trucking in May 2017 after joining the Louisiana Air National Guard. She is set to graduate soon from Trident University with a degree in business management.
Quinton Ward: Werner Enterprises’ Quinton Ward wore many hats during his time in the U.S. Army, including Bradley fighting vehicle system trainer, quartermaster, chemical equipment repairer and BCC battalion career counselor. He was medically retired in 2010 and after receiving six years of medical treatment, Ward decided to get his CDL with the help of the VA Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
Christopher Young: Stevens Transport driver Christopher Young spent time in the U.S. Army as a petroleum supply specialist. Young continues to serve his country as an Army reservist, which he does alongside his trucking career.