I had a new reader stop by who is a long haul truck driver. My older brother was a long haul truck driver but as with everyone, he is so many more things. Isn't it weird when we meet someone new we ask, "What do you do?" as if that defines who they are?? I know the truck driver who stopped by my blog is so much more, that is something he does, it is a part of his identity and it was nice to read how proud he is to be identified with this group. My brother was the same, he still drives a truck for a cement company. He had skills, he went to college but loves this job.
I remember movies like "Convoy" and learned about "front doors" and "back doors". My brother lived this job for a very long time after a stint driving the monster rigs in West Texas oil fields. After he almost died in a rig accident, he changed jobs to a "safer?" long haul driver where he didn't have to help unload heavy oil rig equipment but he was so much more than a coast to coast driver of trucks.
Another identity was as a soldier in the war during Viet Nam when I watched many of the boys we went to school with get their numbers pulled during draft lottery or they would come over or call after getting "the notice" in the mail. These were brave men who has to grow up from teenage boys in the blink of an eye. They had dreams of being teachers, coaches, and one even a Priest. Some got married just before they left, not knowing if they would return, leaving pregant young wives.
I was a girl and didn't have to worry that my number would be pulled but I cried when I heard about the boy down the street who didn't last one month, then I heard about a boy I had a few dates with didn't make it six months. I couldn't read the obituary page with my grandparents, it was too painful. When my brother and his friends had to pack off for boot camp, I sobbed.
My brother, James, is a proud veteran. I married a Viet Nam vet. He became a truck driver too. I wonder if there is a connection? They became road warriors.
Although I worried every time James was on the road, I was happy he was a part of something larger. During the Viet Nam war, he has his brothers in arms, a huge support group and a painful lesson for all of America, SUPPORT OUR KIDS in the MILITARY, EVEN IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH THE WAR. Sorry for the shouting.
When James was a truck driver, a road warrior, finding the same kind of family as veterans. Truckers stick together. If we haven't done it, we can't understand. They have a brotherhood I envy. I love stopping at truck stops and seeing the buddies who are mostly kind and caring souls who would help a family or lady stranded roadside due to a break down.
Take care all who are on the road, give room to the truckers as they carry heavy loads trying to earn a living, like the rest of us. They are much more than just an extension of the machine they control. Drive safe truckers as us little cars are terrified of the huge metal monsters. Even through my fear, I am so very proud to know you.