With the morning sun catching the outline of the truck, a gigantic Marine NCO sword image shines like a diamond. The images of nine Marines reflect on the faces of the spectators. The trucks seem to hum as they are staged in the grassy area near JDC Logistics and Stars Expedited Delivery, LLC. People gather to see what the fuss is all about, almost mesmerized by the view.
Companies show their patriotism and support of the military in various ways. One trucking company, JDC Logistics, out of Prolog Services, LLC in Franklin, WI, recently showed their support when they unveiled their new semis. The trucks bear the statement, "Earned. Never Given." on one side, and the NCO Sword and the faces of the Marines in Dress Blues on the other.
The Marine Corps' "1000 Trucks" campaign originated to develop marketing relationships with trucking leaders in a campaign to create a unique fleet of rolling billboards. The campaign began early this year and will conclude by the end of the first quarter of FY04. As of Nov 17, 842 trucks have been wrapped and are currently on the road. Each truck is wrapped for $1500 at no cost to the trucking firms and the images must remain on the trucks for two years.
In an effort to show support of the local Marine Corps recruiters, and all Marines across the country, JDC Logistics is having 122 trucks wrapped with the images of Marines and the NCO sword.
"We are doing this to help in the recruiting effort and because we value them (the Marines) and we want to show them we support them," said Tim Young, JDC Logistics. "We support all branches of the military, but we value the Marines more because we have former Marines here and because many of us have family members in the Marines."
The event was open to the public and included several keynote speakers, to include Kenneth Bohn, the Chief of Police of Franklin, WI, and Frederick F. Klimetz, Mayor of Franklin, among others. Each speaker recalled events to highlight the Marine Corps and the way the Marines have defended the United States.
With the current real-world situations the Marines are dealing with and facing, they need the all the support they can get, Young said.
Several Marines from the local recruiting substations were present for the ceremony and were honored by the various speakers and company personnel. They were given hats with the company logo and miniature American flags on the bill.
Along with the hats, there were refreshments provided by Radisson Hotel Milwaukee Airport. There were also bagpipes played by Lake Lodge and Tripoli Shrine, a vocalist provided by the Franklin High School Music Program, Michael Kugler, Chairman of the Wisconsin Armed Services Support Effort, and Chaplain John C. Bennethum from the Franklin High School Life Scouts.
"It is really nice to see local companies supporting us (the Marines) like this," said SSgt. Shawn A. Meyers, SNCOIC of RSS South Milwaukee.
The recruiters seemed impressed by the look of the trailers.
"I think they look awesome," said SSgt. Christopher Russell, SNCOIC of RSS Waukesha. "They are very sharp looking with the sword on the side and the Marines on the other."
People lined up to shake the hands of the Marines and thank them for everything they are doing.
"I am honored to drive a truck with the images of the finest fighting force on it," said one female driver. "I will drive it with pride, knowing everyone is watching."