Truck driving undoubtedly has its challenges here in the United States. Crowded highways, not enough parking areas and long hours are just a few of the problems drivers face on a daily basis. I was enjoying a meal at a Petro Truck Stop the other day when I heard another driver complaining about the food. It appeared that he felt that some of the items on the buffet were not hot enough. I agreed that some of the entrees could have been warmer, but I really didn’t care. I was just enjoying the meal.
This situation got me thinking about the complaints I hear from other truck drivers. Perhaps I’m just “different,” but I simply cannot relate to many of these problems that truck driving faces here at home. As I was completing my meal, another driver walked in and was upset because he had driven through the night and was still unable to get unloaded. He said the only thing left to do right then was getting something to eat, take a shower and go to bed. He ate his meal complaining the entire time about his run through the night. I thought about the truck drivers in Iraq.
The most dangerous job in the Middle East is truck driving. I wondered about certain correlations between truck driving here in the U.S. and truck driving in Iraq. I looked around and listened to more complaining by other drivers about their “hardships.” I took a hard look at myself. I thought about the good job I had and the ability to make a nice pay check. I looked at all the food on the buffet readily available for my taking. I knew that later that night I would be home and my wife would have the coffee ready and I could sit and relax in my favorite chair. I thought about my freedom. Hardships? What hardships? I decided to compare the complaints with the life of truck drivers in Iraq:
U.S. DRIVERS ————–TRUCK DRIVING IN IRAQ:
Waited 3 hours for tire repair ——–Had to change own tire
Complains about rough roads—— There are no roads
Truck A/C isn’t cold enough——–No A/C in 150 degree weather
Watch out for Pot Holes——Watch out for Land Mines
Had to drive all night——Drives with night vision goggles
Worries about missing schedules——Worries about snipers
Mattress is too hard——Sleeps with 50# of body armor
Fellow drivers can be rude—-Fellow drivers can be terrorists
Watches out for bad drivers——Watches out for mortar fire
Army Specialist Timothy Staddon with the 123rd Main Support Battalion under the First Armored Division, is a truck driver in Iraq. His job is to haul supplies, parts and food to the forward support battalions located right in the center of Baghdad. He has been shot at by unseen snipers and has to be on the look out for 155MM shells buried in the sand that explode when you drive by. This young man, and many more like him, are heros. Because of them, we remain free.
As of May, 2006 twenty-four American truck drivers have been killed while working in Iraq from shootings and road side bombs. Drivers in Iraq experience post-traumatic stress disorder just as our soldiers do. They form “shadow armies” in order to deliver food and supplies to the troops. One of the few women truck drivers in Iraq, convoy commander Cindy Morgan sums it up perfectly: “We live, we eat, we sleep, pretty much side by side with our troops. And we get shot at, we bleed and we die beside them.”
I know truck driving can be a rough life. However, as I sit in the comfort of my home or enjoy a meal out, and the only thing I have to do is fight a little traffic in order to have my evening out, I simply can’t justify any complaining. I look around and only see abundance. Because of our soldiers and the civilian workers who have chosen to risk their lives truck driving in Iraq . . . I look around and I only see freedom.
Here is one of “The Greats” visiting our Troops in Iraq…….Chuck Norris meets our troops
Thanks Chuck, you’re the best of the best
About the author:
Aubrey Allen Smith is a veteran driver and author of the Truth About Trucking. Exposing the scams of truck driving for new drivers, he is an expert in the field of transportation. Learn the TRUTH before you begin. Please visit http://www.truthabouttrucking.com today. We here at truthabouttrucking.com SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!