Trucking for the troops

While most truck drivers in the U.S. worry about what the guy next to them is doing when he should be watching the road, there are a group of drivers who risk their lives every day, worried about a whole lot more than just the driver on his cell phone. They are the men and women who ferry supplies to our troops in war-torn countries such as Afghanistan.

army-driver.jpgMany people forget that even with all our military might, most of it would not be if not for fuel and other necessary supplies like replacement parts and food. And how does this stuff arrive at camps? Just like bread arrives in your local store: via truck.

And it’s not just the military’s men and women who put their lives on the line to deliver the goods, it’s also the average citizen. There is a wonderful article I saw today by Kathy Gannon of the Associated Press. Gannon writes about the haulers who transport 100 truckloads of fuel a day to the front lines to keep the U.S. army operational in Afghanistan.

(You can read the whole story here)

And how much does this hazardous work pay? About $112 a month, enough for one driver, a Pakistani, to feed his wife and five children, a family that he sees only about twice a year, he tells Gannon.

According to a U.S. NATO spokesperson, roughly 27,000 trucks crossed a border post at Chaman, near Kandahar, last year. On average, about three per week are attacked.

People in this country were fascinated when the Discovery Channel began airing Ice Road Truckers a few years ago. Look how dangerous their jobs are, people said. If Discovery could produce a program about the truck drivers, both in and out of the military, that supply our troops, particularly in a time of war, I think we’d all have a new appreciation about what really goes into the war effort.

I’d encourage everyone to take a few minutes and go read Gannon’s story because it is a fascinating tale about the men and women – some of whom are not even U.S. citizens - who put their lives on the line daily to support the troops.

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