On Dec. 15, at a ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C, one skilled Veteran became this year’s recipient of the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award, which included keys to a fully-loaded Kenworth T680 truck.

VA regularly partners with the private sector, Soldier for Life, and the Chamber of Commerce to highlight options available to Veterans outside of 2- and 4-year degrees. Using the GI Bill for on-the-job-training has helped thousands of Veterans in the trucking industry, and Transition Trucking has helped to create more business owners to become economically successful.

December’s ceremony, presented by Hiring Our Heroes in partnership with Kenworth Trucking and FASTPORT, is the culmination of a multiyear initiative which marries skills attained through military training to civilian employment–a crucial link for transitioning Veterans that also benefits the economy.

The nominees for this year’s top military Veteran rookie truck driver included: U.S. Navy Veteran Daniel Shonebarger of Columbus, Georgia; U.S. Army Veteran Gregg Softy of Athens, Alabama; and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Wayne Roy of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

When it was time to announce the winner, the three contenders made their way to the stage. The room erupted with battle cries spanning the branches. As the second and first runner-ups were announced, Softy realized he had been crowned the winner. Cheers from the crowd and smiles from Softy filled the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hall of Flags ceremony room.

“Congratulations to the three finalists, and in particular to the winner, Lt. Col. (retired) Gregg Softy from the US Army, a Soldier for Life,” said retired Col. Adam Rocke, Vice President at FASTPORT. “All three represent the best that America has to offer with the skills and values they bring to the companies you represent.”

Softy, given the keys to his brand new truck, was able to ride away from Washington D.C.–with the White House in his rearview–as an owner-operator, and one ready to independently take on the economic world, one mile at a time. This opportunity was made possible by the generous investment and commitment from private companies coming together and placing a stake in a Veteran’s future, a bet with a proven track record for success.

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Published on Dec. 19, 2017

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  1. Marvin Carwile December 23, 2017 at 1:23 am

    What was the criteria used to select the winners. While I congratulate the winner, I find it disturbing that a retired Lt. Col. is the winner of such a prize. Over the years I have noticed that retired/veteran winners are officers. I watch Fox and friends and you see lots of winners for charities being officers. Just funny to me, I’m a retired Air Force Veteran. who went from building bombs, E-6, AFSC 2WO71 to a Lt. (I started with no stripes) running a maximum Security Prison at night in Virginia and I don’t think I deserve an award. I think the Veteran that is struggling to make ends meet and goes to work and does the best he/she can would have been more deserving of the truck then a Lt. Col who’s retirement pay could easily make a truck payment. JMHO

  2. Bob Mears December 22, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    What a great blog for American Military Veterans! Thanks so much for publishing.

  3. Jo Redding December 22, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Way to go, fellow-Alabamian! Thank you for your service and thank you for your exemplary display of citizenship. A great example for the youth of today!

  4. Adele F Heath December 22, 2017 at 9:32 am

    So proud to see this done for our Veterans. My husband was an Army Veteran MSG with 21 years we loved every bit of it and so did our two sons. Our oldest son Designs Homes and our youngest has been an 18 wheeler driver for over 22 years. God Bless you and as they say Keep it between the lines. Happy driving in your beautiful truck and congratulations to you and the Navy and Marines. Sincerely Adele F Heath, surviving spouse of an Viet Nam Army Veteran.

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