Saturday, March 31, 2007

Honoring the Fallen

By Alan Burkhart

In a show of love and respect for the fallen and undying support for our troops, a huge convoy of Mississippi state troopers, truckers and bikers gathered to welcome U.S. Marine Cpl. Dustin Jerome Lee home from Iraq. Dustin was killed a few days ago in Fallujah. He was the son of Mississippi state trooper Jerome Lee.

The images were taken Friday (March 30) as truckers gathered along US highway 11 to participate. I was unable to attend since I was already on my way to Denver, Colorado, but my good friends Mike and Patsy Easterling were on hand with their camera. Many thanks to them for passing along some great pics of some fine people.

The convoy of truckers, bikers and troopers escorted Dustin from the air base in Meridian, MS to a funeral home in Quitman. As I understand it, the convoy will also escort him from Quitman to the grave site where he is to be laid to rest today. Mike and Pat were unable to attend today, so the images below are all from Friday.

A fine article about Dustin's passing is posted at the Meridian Star.

Best to all - -

A long line of truckers and law enforcement awaiting the go-ahead to begin Dustin's escort
This image is by Brian Livingston of the Meridian Star. To the right of the honor guard carrying Dustin's coffin, you can see his father, MS highway patrolman Jerome Lee saluting his son.
Bikers (above) and law enforcement (below) gathered to show their respect for the fallen
Truckers from all over the Southeast were gathered outside Key Field to escort Dustin to his final resting place.
Mike and Patsy's truck - waiting in line on hwy 11 outside the base

Saturday, March 17, 2007

We Don't Know When...

By Alan Burkhart

On March 17, 2007 I was in the Flying J Travel Center near Jackson, MS. I'd just eaten breakfast and was headed back out to the truck. I grew curious when I saw a couple of fire trucks and a police cruiser near my truck, and ambled over to see what the matter was.

Seems that a trucker who was driving toward the exit had suffered a massive heart attack and died almost instantly. He hadn't been moving very fast, but nevertheless his rig drifted into the Volvo tractor pictured here. The trailer caught the front fender of the Volvo and pretty much destroyed the whole right side.

Another driver nearby had been checking his rig over before getting started and had to make a flying leap to avoid being run down literally as the poor guy was dying. He told me he had jumped out of the way, and saw the guy clutching his chest and falling over as the truck rolled by.

No one was hurt, and emergency personnel arrived quickly. By the time I stumbled onto the scene, they were just leaving with the deceased driver's rig. A tow truck arrived shortly afterwards to tow away the Volvo.

Just goes to show ya... we never know when our number is up. Enjoy each day and be grateful for it.