Veterans Day earlier this week provided the perfect setting for Werner Enterprises to introduce Freedom 4 Ride of Honor during a ceremony honoring military veterans at its Atlanta, terminal. Freedom 4 is the fourth installment in Werner’s Operation Freedom fleet of military-themed trucks.
Werner representatives speaking at the event included C.L. Werner, company founder and chairman emeritus; Derek Leathers, president and COO; Jim Morbach, senior director of Student and Government Recruiting; and Felicia Berggren, professional driver.
“So much of what we are thankful for is a direct result of the bravery of those who serve and sacrifice in our military,” Leathers said. “It is our honor to salute our veterans and continue our mission to support them every day in our actions and within our organization.”
Berggren, who will drive the Freedom 4 Ride of Honor truck, is a native of Owensboro, Ky. and has been a Werner driver and trainer for nearly two years. Her father served in the Army and her brother served in the Navy.
“I can’t describe my excitement,” Berggren said. “This opportunity will allow me to convey my deep gratitude to all veterans and those who serve, as well as reach out to their families to show support and encouragement.”
The Freedom 4 Ride of Honor’s design, created by Army veteran Ed Keeter, features the image of Army veteran Brian Miller, who was wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq, and Tino, an 11-year-old retired member of a K-9 unit who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The truck will travel with Berggren on her regular freight routes, as well as be showcased at truck shows, recruiting events and specific veteran ceremonies to bring awareness to Werner’s industry-leading military apprenticeship program.
Werner developed the Operation Freedom Program in conjunction with the White House veteran campaign and introduced its first truck, Freedom 1, in February of 2013, followed by Freedom 2 in May of 2013. Werner debuted Freedom 3 in August of this year and has ongoing plans to grow its military fleet.
Werner has been acknowledged for its efforts to ease the transition of military veterans into the workplace, receiving recognition by GI Jobs magazine as both a “Top 100 Military Friendly Employer for 2014” and a “Top 50 Military Spouse Employer for 2014.”
Werner’s Professional Truck Driver Apprenticeship Program allows veterans to use their benefits to pay for training while receiving on-the-job instruction.