Navy veteran honors U.S. military with her custom truck

Patricia Gorman and Thomas Teddy. (Image Courtesy of Patricia Gorman)Patricia Gorman and Thomas Teddy. (Image Courtesy of Patricia Gorman)

Owner-operator Patricia Gorman served 12 years in the U.S. Navy before transitioning out and becoming an over the road truck driver in 1995, but she still proudly represents and supports the military through her leased trucking business.

Gorman and her husband Teddy Thomas are both Navy veterans, with Gorman having served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield and Thomas having been part of the Seabees. Their 2018 Freightliner Cascadia Classic is a visual representation of their military pride. Their truck is leased to Bennett International hauling explosives, equipment, and other specialized government loads.

Their business is dubbed “Ground Force One” and their white Freightliner boasts a custom truck wrap with military decals, an American flag, and an eagle. At the top of the truck wrap is a line reading, “To honor those who served past, present, and future.”

Gorman and Thomas live in their truck, which has all the necessary amenities for a comfortable life on the road. It has a 130-inch sleeper with a shower, bathroom, mini-refrigerator/freezer, convection microwave oven, sink, a full-size bed, a DISH network in-motion satellite, TV, and a table and bench seats, among other features. The truck also has a 40-gallon water tank, 5-gallon hot water heater, A/C, and a generator. 

When they got the truck a year and a half ago it had just 13 miles on it. Now its go over 255,000 miles.

“Where we call home is the truck because it’s one of those oversized trucks and it’s like a little miniature house,” said Gorman.

Patricia Gorman and Thomas Teddy’s Freightliner. (Image Courtesy of Thomas Teddy)Patricia Gorman and Thomas Teddy’s Freightliner. (Image Courtesy of Thomas Teddy)

While in the Navy, Gorman worked in communications and was responsible for the ship’s satellites and antennas. She was also responsible for about 65 crew members serving underneath her. Her military experience has helped give her a leg up in the trucking industry. 

“It gives you organizational skills and with keeping things on track,” Gorman said.

When the couple has downtime, Gorman said they enjoy visiting family and sightseeing. With all of its amenities, their rig can double as an RV, so they take advantage of that to travel and explore.

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“If we’re shut down for the weekend say in Texas we’ll run to Tucson or Tombstone or go sightseeing,” Gorman said.

Gorman and Teddy will deliver a Wreaths Across America load to Anderson, Georgia later this week. (Image Courtesy of Thomas Teddy)Gorman and Teddy will deliver a Wreaths Across America load to Anderson, Georgia later this week. (Image Courtesy of Thomas Teddy)

Gorman says her favorite thing about being a truck driver is sharing a career with her husband and being free to explore the United States.

“I drive with my husband and he’s just so hilarious. It’s like one big vacation,” Gorman said. “It’s the company, it’s our truck, it’s doing different things like going to different places.”

Gorman was named one of Bennett’s 2018 Women Driver of Excellence award winners.

“That was a surprise. I’m still not sure how I landed that one. It goes to somebody who has the patience, drive, and the way of helping people accomplish their goals,” Gorman said.

Gorman and Thomas are getting ready to drive Ground Force One to Maine to pick up a load of wreaths as part of this year’s Wreaths Across America. They’ll deliver the wreaths to Anderson, Georgia, where volunteers will unload them and place them on veterans’ graves.