‘I’m Itching to Get Out There’: Transition Trucking Winner Ready to Hit the Road in His New Truck

Army veteran Brandon Meredith is the 2023 Transition Trucking winner
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Hiring Our Heroes

U.S. Army veteran Brandon Meredith always planned to be a truck driver. He just didn’t expect to be an owner-operator driving a brand-new Kenworth truck less than a year after earning his CDL.

“It feels like a dream,” he told Hiring Our Heroes.

Hiring Our Heroes, Kenworth, and FASTPORT named Meredith the 2023 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award winner during a special ceremony held at the American Trucking Associations’ headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Army veteran Brandon Meredith , his family and Clint Romesha

As the Transition Trucking winner, Meredith received a Kenworth T680 Signature Edition truck equipped with a 76-inch high-roof sleeper. The truck was the first T680 Signature Edition produced at Kenworth’s Chillicothe, Ohio, plant in honor of the company’s 100th anniversary. Meredith described the truck as “basically a luxury apartment” on wheels.

“It’s hard to put it into words,” Meredith said. “I feel a sense of accomplishment. I feel grateful and proud to be selected.”

Transition Trucking Winner Is A Third-Generation Driver

Following a 20-year career in the U.S. Army, Meredith could have pursued a variety of post-military career paths. Instead this Illinois native followed  his childhood dream of driving a tractor-trailer.

“I planned my transition to trucking quite a while ago. So, once I learned the basics, I felt comfortable with driving truck. It was a smooth transition for me,” he said.

Related: ‘Incredible Group of Drivers’: 2023 Transition Trucking Finalists Represent Next Generation of Trucking Talent

Meredith spent 13 years in the Special Operations Forces. During his military service, he earned many awards and decorations. In March 2023, he retired from active duty and enrolled in Fayetteville Technical Community College’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) program.

“I’m a third-generation truck driver now. My father lost his life driving a truck, and while that was a hard time in my life, this profession is something I’ve always wanted to pursue,” he said.

2023 Transition Trucking Awards Ceremony
Under the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence program, all five finalists participated in the Washington, D.C. awards ceremony where their military service was honored. The first runner-up, Ondrae Meyers/U.S. Marine Corps/CRST, was awarded a $10,000 prize, and finalists Jessica White/U.S. Army/Stevens Transport; LaTravis Wilcox/U.S. Marine Corps/Prime, Inc.; Todd Kraus/U.S. Army/Werner Enterprises received $5,000 each.

‘I Couldn’t Have Asked for a Better Year’

For the eighth consecutive year, Hiring Our Heroes teamed up with FASTPORT and Kenworth to find America’s top rookie military veteran who made the successful transition into a civilian truck driving career.

Five Transition Trucking finalists were honored for their accomplishments during the Dec. 15, 2023, awards ceremony. The first runner-up, Ondrae Meyers, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, was awarded a $10,000 prize. The other finalists, Jessica White, LaTravis Wilcox, and Todd Kraus, received $5,000 each.

“Transition Trucking sets the bar for highlighting veterans,” Meredith said. “Veterans are a special breed of human beings. I’ve made some lifelong friends throughout this award. I couldn’t have asked for a better year.”

Related: Mastering Military Veteran Hiring in the Trucking Industry

He expects to hit the road in his new truck soon.

“I’m itching to get out there,” he said.

The Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award is part of an overall effort to inspire the hiring of more service members into the trucking industry and to recognize their contributions to the workforce. Read about previous winners at TransitionTrucking.org.

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