Driving Cross-Country To Honor Veterans Like His Dad

Giving Back; Supply Chain

Driver Dave Mott’s mission with Wreaths Across America helps keep his father’s memory close.

Driver Dave smiling at the camera standing in front of an American flag

You could say that Dave Mott’s journey with Wreaths Across America began 20 years ago with a different cross-country drive: an adventure with his dad, a World War II veteran who was in his late 80s at the time. On that 18-month road trip, Dave heard stories his father had never shared about his time in the service. 

“He never used to talk much about his service. He was a very humble man,” Dave says. 

It’s an experience that he thinks about often, especially this time of year when his work with Wreaths Across America is in full swing. 

Read more about how Walmart drivers support Wreaths Across America.

Dave has worked with Walmart for 16 years, and is based in Transportation Office 7814 in Lewiston, Maine. He started volunteering for Wreaths Across America in 2010. He was honored to drive the Walmart truck in the escort for the first time in 2012 and again 2013. From then on, he was hooked. 

Committed to remember, honor, teach

His passion for the program has grown so much that he stepped back to part-time hours at Walmart this year so he could volunteer more. But Wreaths Across America had other ideas: They liked Dave so much they wanted to hire him.

So now Dave drives part-time for Walmart and works part-time for Wreaths Across America as an interdepartmental liaison. “I actually work with all of the different departments,” Dave explains. “I had been volunteering here for so many years, I apparently learned how to do a lot of different jobs. So wherever there's a need, they send me.” 

One component of Dave’s new job for Wreaths is joining the convoy’s advance team. That means driving ahead to each stop the convoy makes — to schools, malls, VFW posts and other community locations — to make sure everything is ready for the team when they arrive. 

“I set up the ceremonial wreaths and answer questions,” Dave says. “We've actually got 14 tractor trailers this year that we have to park. Plus, we have 11 wrapped vehicles, 15 police cars and several small nine-passenger vans. It’s quite a convoy.” 

A special place for veterans

Besides providing trailers and drivers, Walmart supports Wreaths Across America through its giving. This year, the organization will receive $750,000 from the company, part of $4 million in giving to veterans causes overall. 

Dave says hearing stories from veterans through his work with Wreaths Across America brings back memories of his dad. His work with the organization is a way to honor his dad’s service as well as the service of his two sons, one an active Army Ranger and the other a retired Ranger.

“I think that the next generation needs to know that our freedom isn't free. There's definitely a price to pay,” he says. “And I just want to be able to pay back somehow.” 

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