Rolling tribute to service, sacrifice
With 38 percent of Halvor Lines' employee base having served in the military, recognizing veterans' service is important to the company, president Jon Vinje said.
With 38 percent of Halvor Lines’ employee base having served in the military, recognizing veterans’ service is important to the company, president Jon Vinje said.
Its latest effort to do so already is turning heads nationwide.
The Superior-based trucking company on Wednesday showed off its new Volvo tractor-trailer, covered on all sides with photos and artwork honoring veterans. It had just returned to Superior from its first trip - delivering more than 2,500 wreaths from Maine to be placed on graves at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
"The maiden voyage was absolutely astounding," said Halvor driver Murray Morgan of Ironwood, Mich., who had the honor of making that first trip. "People would go by me and wave, and honk their horns, and give me a thumbs up."
Some even offered to buy Morgan a meal, he said, but he asked them instead to donate that money to the Wounded Warrior Project organization supporting injured veterans.
The truck is eye-catching, wrapped in artwork created by Elite Tinting and Graphics of Duluth. Among other illustrations, there’s the iconic image of U.S. military personnel raising the flag at Iwo Jima during World War II, and a scroll listing battles, campaigns and incidents American forces have taken part in.
"It’s a rolling tribute to their sacrifices," Vinje said. The truck will be a part of Halvor’s regular fleet, though it may be used for some special events.
Its first assignment was hauling the wreaths to Arlington, with Halvor donating the trip as part of the "Wreaths Across America" program. It’s the third year the company has participated.
Morgan said there were 80 trucks in the convoy from Maine to Arlington this year, carrying wreaths to place on 300,000 veterans’ graves in the cemetery.
The trip had special significance for Morgan, who served in the Air Force for 14 years.
"It’s like I’m able to serve my country one more time," he said.