Columbus veteran named finalist for Military Rookie Driver of the Year

Columbus veteran named finalist for Military Rookie Driver of the Year

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes initiative announced the three finalists for their annual Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award and a Columbus veteran is one of them.

Daniel Shonebarger is a sea service veteran of the United States Navy and currently works as a driver for Melton Truck Lines.

The award is given by the Hiring Our Heroes initiative in partnership with Kenworth Trucking and FASTPORT and hands one military veteran rookie truck driver the keys to a brand-new Kenworth T680 truck.

"In 2017, thousands of veterans began careers as truck drivers," said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth's marketing director. "Kenworth welcomes these skilled professionals into the trucking industry and recognizes them for their service."

Throughout 2017, trucking companies nominate drivers across the country, a selection company then selects the top ten candidates to be named finalists, and those ten are then narrowed down to three. The public also had a chance to recognize their favorite rookie through an online vote.

"Each of the Top 3 finalists are elite, both in terms of their military service and in their new careers as professional truck drivers," said Brad Bentley, FASTPORT President. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize their achievements as the newest members of our industry."

The other two finalists are U.S. Marine Corps veteran Wayne Roy of Pittsfield, Ma, and U.S. Army veteran Gregg Softy of Athens, Al.

"Our three finalists…represent the best of our military and industry. Their service to this country as a Marine, sailor, and soldier, respectively, will make the selection of the winner a difficult one," said Swihart.

The Top Veteran Rookie Truck Driver will be announced Dec. 15 in a ceremony held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

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