Wreaths Across America's Trucking Tributes Presents Jay Taylor with Brown Dog Carriers and Logistics

Professional drivers and trucking companies give so much to the nation. Without them, the Wreaths Across America mission to remember, honor, and teach would be nearly impossible. Veterans’ wreaths move by planes, trains, ships, and livestock trailers, but trucks and their professional drivers transport the lion’s share of America's respect. In 2023, to be specific, 717 truckloads of wreaths were delivered, representing 332 different carriers and partners.

In November and December, one of the busiest periods of the year for the transportation sector, the Wreaths Across America mission brings drivers together in an effort of unparalleled unity. With a positive, “can-do” work ethic, these professionals make it possible for Americans to honor millions of veterans laid to rest at home and overseas. In 2024, with over 4,200 participating locations, in addition to Arlington National Cemetery, transportation logistics are immense.

Many of these drivers are military veterans and say the truckload of fresh balsam-fir wreaths is the most precious cargo they transport in their careers. Wreaths Across America shares their stories in the “Trucking Tributes” feature online and on Wreaths Across America Radio and Sirius XM, Channel 146, Road Dog Trucking.

Jay Taylor not only has his father-in-law to thank for his beautiful bride of almost six years, Jay credits him with sound career advice too. “My father-in-law was the one who suggested I go for my CDL, and he said he’d hire me if I did,” Jay explained. “Honestly, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve been with Brown Dog now for going on four years and I love my job!”

That’s quite a statement coming from a Marine who vowed during his military service that he’d ‘never do that’ when referring to truck drivers hauling those big rigs with precision. Jay served from 2013-2017 in the U.S. Marine Corps Infantry with two deployments; one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. His two brothers-in-law served; one as a U.S. Army Ranger, the other in the U.S. Air Force.  

Now that Jay is one of those professional drivers he thought of as “crazy” back then, he loves the fact he learned how to make tight corners and dock on narrow streets too like they did, and he landed a job he loves. It’s filled with variety and he’s home almost every night with his young family. “I used to do some overnights for Brown Dog, and they made it so I didn’t even have to sleep in my truck, but after my son was born it made it kind of hard to do overnights,” Jay shared. “I like that my days are different. That keeps things changed up and fresh and I like that I’m one of the first people to deal with our new customers.”

Jay also knew he landed the right job when he walked into Brown Dog Carriers and saw all the Wreaths Across America materials. “I knew of Wreaths Across America as a young child. My parents ran an inner-city ministry in Lewiston, Maine. My father was big on supporting veterans and every Memorial Day we would go and toss a wreath into the Androscoggin River from the bridge there but it wasn’t until I came to Brown Dog that I really got the idea. It’s everywhere. I’d say it’s one of the co-owners, my boss Graig Morin’s biggest passions and it’s really inspiring.”

Jay is right about that. Graig Morin serves on the Wreaths Across America ‘s Board of Directors and serves as a Co- Location Coordinator (LC) for participating cemeteries in Maine. Graig, and his business partner Darryl, have been committed to hiring veterans as they grow.

Now here’s the part of this story that makes it so cool. Jay wound up recommending a job at Brown Dog for his buddy Nate too. Nate is also a military veteran and according to Jay, their similarities are striking. “He’s like a little brother to me really, and we served in the same unit, but he came in just as I was getting out. We were born and raised in the same area of Maine and served in the same unit in the Marine Corps and then he and I got to go to Arlington together.” Before they staged in Arlington for National Wreaths Across America Day, Jay and Nate hauled a trailer full of America’s respect in the form of sponsored veterans’ wreaths to other participating locations in Virginia. “From delivering the wreaths to the banquet the night before and walking that morning in Arlington, it was a lot. The whole experience was amazing, and what impressed me the most was, everywhere we went and everything we did, people were hands on and passionate about what was going on. They wanted to be there and be a part of it.”

As more and more Americans continue to join Wreaths Across America to remember our fallen and step forward to become “part of it” the need for carriers and drivers grows too!

Thank you, Jay Taylor, Nate Patterson, and Brown Dog Carriers and Logistics for helping support the mission to remember, honor, and teach.

If you’d like to join the Wreaths Across America Honor Fleet, you can get started with a click right here!

You can hear more with Jay on Trucking Tributes, which can be listened to every Truckin’ Tuesday at 11:00 AM and again at 4:00 PM EST on Wreaths Across America Radio and Wednesday at 8:30 AM EST on Sirius XM Channel 146, Road Dog Trucking Radio.

Discover the Trucking Tributes archive playlist on Soundcloud.com