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Truck driver Don Welch and his wife, Nancy, sat listening to the thick accents of locals chatting in a small restaurant. 

With his own Ozark-twangy accent, Don tells stories of his Midwest Missouri home, his deeply-rooted military family, and all the places he loves to visit as a driver. 

After his father-in-law, who served for 26 years, encouraged him to join the military, twenty year old Don signed up for the Army in 1977. While serving, Don traveled to Germany & Panama. As a civilian, Don travels the country he fought to protect, celebrating 33 years with CFI. 

Don is most proud of his three sons and grandson, who followed in his footsteps and joined the military. To honor Don’s service home and abroad, he drives a True to the Troops wrapped Truck.  

“It’s just a matter of pride… It’s honor. You are doing something for your country instead of having your country do something for you,” Don echoes the famous President John F. Kennedy quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” 

What he’s most proud of in life are his boys: “I’m proud of all of them. The boys have done a lot.” His eldest, Travis, served as a Major in the National Guard as a Medic, and his second son, Donald, helped restore the Pentagon after the 9/11 attacks, and his grandson, Liam is a Combat Medic. 

And his youngest son Luke saved a fellow soldier’s life in Iraq. “They started bombing Baghdad. Luke’s group was on patrol,” and arrived at a compound, and just as he was getting out of their vehicle, a shell violently struck their HumVee, wounding a female soldier and lacing his entire leg with shrapnel. “Luke drove her to help,” not even realizing he had been wounded until after the medics asked him about it. 

“My wife has her Hall of Fame– all the pictures of men in uniform on the wall.”

Many veteran drivers credit trucking with helping them to transition out of the military. But Don says it’s driving that helped him support his family so that they could best serve their country. “(Trucking) it has put all of my kids through school.”

“CFI has been a good company, like family.” Don says after more than three decades on the road with them. “My dispatcher is a sweetheart… If you have problems all you have to do is get a hold of somebody, and they’ll work it out. They’ve just been an all around good company.”

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