While many holiday traditions look different this year, Mohawk Industries is helping to ensure that one important tradition remains the same.
Mohawk drivers are among hundreds from across the country that are collectively delivering more than one million wreaths to decorate veterans’ graves for the holiday season at approximately 1,200 cemeteries across the United States. This year, Mohawk drivers transported two truckloads of wreaths from Wreaths Across America’s headquarters in Columbia Falls, Maine, to cemeteries in Texas and Tennessee for National Wreaths Across America Day, Saturday, December 19.
One in five Mohawk truck drivers is a veteran, and the company is proud of their service and the contributions they make to the business every single day. Over-the-road drivers Jamie Calvert and Lester Moore teamed up to transport one of the loads. Calvert himself is a U.S. Army veteran.
“I am one of the lucky ones that made it home, so it means a lot to me to be able to do this for the ones that were not so lucky,” said Calvert.
OTR team drivers Ron and Leah Eppich transported the second load. The Eppichs are a Gold-Star family, a designation for those who have lost a family member in service to their country. The Eppichs are long-term personal volunteers for Wreaths Across America, and they were drivers for Mohawk’s first year of participation in 2019. Other Mohawk drivers involved in the project were Sunnyvale, Texas, drivers Jose Andrade and Stanley Clay, who brought the wreaths into the Dallas Fort Worth National Veterans' Cemetery and Calhoun-based local driver Bobby Winters, who brought the wreaths into the Knoxville State Veterans Cemetery and Oakridge Memorial Gardens in Tennessee.
“The Mohawk transportation team is proud to sponsor Wreaths Across America again this year and we are committed to continuing our support for the years to come,” said Jeff Wachtel, vice president of transportation. “As these trailers travel our American highways and interstates, it is our hope that they encourage conversation among adults and children about the sacrifices our veterans have made.”
The specially wrapped trailers were designed for the occasion by Mohawk Flooring North America’s marketing creative operations team, explained senior human resources director Micah Riggle who has championed the company’s involvement in Wreaths Across America.
“There was a great deal of excitement around this project our first year, and we are experiencing that same level of enthusiasm this year. It’s inspiring to see our team members in transportation and across Mohawk working together to make sure everything is in perfect order,” Riggle said. “When I see the Mohawk trucks and wrapped trailers roll in under police escort, the gravity of what we are doing really hits me. I encourage everyone to go to WreathsAcrossAmerica.org to better understand why we are supporting this project.”
In addition to employing many veterans across the country, Mohawk has been a leading supporter of Building for America’s Bravest, providing flooring for new homes for the nation’s most seriously wounded veterans.
Wreaths Across America is a national nonprofit organization founded in 2007 to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. They coordinate the annual transport, delivery and placement of more than two million wreaths on the graves of U.S. veterans around the world.