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Army veteran Dwayne Allen’s world growing up was an experiment in extremes: “Most of my friends went to the penitentiary. Drugs, stealing cars, guns. But two of them went into pro-football. I was a tough guy– pretty small in stature… I struggled with a speech impediment. I was also bullied a lot as a kid.” 

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Dwayne credits his loving family, especially his grandmother for keeping him on the straight and narrow. “My grandmother, she instilled in me not to do that. She said, ‘I’m not going to let you go to the penitentiary.’ They protected me. And I love them for that. I really do.”

But it was going into the military that gave him the confidence he’s carried through life, “I was like a different person after basic training. I’ve never been the same since. My grandfather and grandmother were extremely proud of me. I sent them an allotment (of money) every month.”

At 21 years old, Dwayne was serving the Army, driving trucks in Germany, and married to his highschool sweetheart. “I loved driving trucks in the military. No power steering though. That’s hard,” he laughs. “I thought I had my entire life planned out.”

But then he received a call… his grandmother was dying of cancer. The military moved him stateside to take care of her. It was, “very hard to watch her deteriorate. She couldn’t hold any food. I couldn’t face the way she looked. Sometimes it was hard to watch her, this strong woman deteriorate. It was scary.”

“It happened so quick. The cancer ran through her in a year.” She lost seventy pounds. “I brought her food. When she couldn’t feed herself anymore, I fed her. I talked to her when she was down.”

“Losing her and the day my grandfather died were the two worst days of my life. I wanted to die.”

Dwayne’s life spiraled: He started drinking, and he lost his marriage. “I was living wild.”

But he took a job coaching little league sports, and he knew he couldn’t live that way. “That was the turning point. I couldn’t be living wild,” with those kids looking up to me. “I quit drinking. I would give my last penny for them.”

“In 2015 I had an epiphany. God told me it was time for a change.” He felt called to trucking, “I studied every day to practice before I took the test for trucking. I aced the written test.”

“This was my dream. I love this. I (get to) see this whole beautiful country that God made. I am so thankful and appreciative for this opportunity. I’ve been to 43 states. I’ll be a trucker until the end.”

“It was a long journey to get here. My Mama is super proud of me. I’m the man of the family. They lean on me now. My Mama says, ‘I prayed for you. God answered my prayers. Look at my son…’ Now, when I’m home I attend my Grandmother’s church.”

“This CDL is my life,” Dwayne says, and he loves driving for WEL Companies. He says of the owner, “I love this guy. The owner is very approachable. He’s always coming, talking to the drivers. It’s a family atmosphere. This is the first job I’ve ever had that’s made me feel appreciated.”

“I’ve been Employee of the Month. Named one of WEL’s top drivers… I was interviewed for the Montel Williams Military Makeover show.” And he loves the fitness center, the hotels the company provides, the spouse-ride-alongs, having his transportation costs covered. “I’m very appreciative.”

“It was a long journey, but I’m here.”

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