2019 truck wrap

Custom Exchange Truck Wrap Thanks Veterans for ‘Service and Sacrifice’


When Exchange Creative Director Johnny Olson and his fellow Marines returned from serving in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, hundreds of people lined the streets to welcome them home, but it’s one person in particular that Olson remembers when he thinks of that day.

The welcoming crowd had become so large that the bus carrying Olson and his compatriots to their base had to stop. The bus driver, noticing a Vietnam Veteran in his uniform, opened the door and invited him in. The man stood at the front of the bus, tears in his eyes, and welcomed the troops home.

The contrast between the treatment this man and other Vietnam Veterans received on coming home and his own reception returning from the Gulf War struck Olson. A Veteran who had not received thanks for his service made time to thank the Marines on the bus that day.

“Ever since that day, I’ve gone out of my way to thank Vietnam Veterans for their service and give them a hearty ‘Welcome home,’” Olson said.

‘Thank you for your service and sacrifice’

Olson was thinking of that Marine when he designed the Exchange’s custom Vietnam Veteran truck wrap, with the assistance of Corporate Communication Specialist Mario Baltierra. The truck design is dedicated to Vietnam Veterans as part of the Exchange’s partnership with The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration during the 50th anniversary of the war.

The design features an image from the National Archives of a young Vietnam Soldier while close-ups of names from the Vietnam War Memorial Wall can be seen in the background. Across the 53-foot trailer is the message “On behalf of a grateful Nation, thank you for your service and sacrifice.”

Letting Vets know they’re appreciated

The message hit home for Vietnam-era Veteran associates.

“I think it’s great because it lets everybody know who served that they were appreciated, said Eldon Ashley, a Facilities Management Office foreman at the Waco Distribution Center in Texas, who served in the Air Force four years active duty and 21 years in the Reserves. “That’s all I think everybody would want, to just be appreciated.”

Pat Thompson served in Vietnam during his four years in the Air Force and has spent the last 19 years working for the Exchange as a truck driver and mechanic. He noted that the new truck wraps show whom Exchange associates are really working for.

“The best thing about working for the Exchange is working for the troops,” said Thompson, who has deployed six times to the Middle East with the Exchange.

Watch for the trucks!

The design also displays an image of the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin, which Veterans can receive at their local Exchange during special ceremonies on March 29, National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The design is featured on three trucks, which will head to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, and Fort Carson, Colo., for the ceremonies.

The trucks will deliver merchandise from Exchange distribution centers in Dayton, Ohio;
Waco, Texas; and Newport News, Va.

The trucks will deliver merchandise from Exchange distribution centers in Dayton, Ohio; Waco; and Newport News, Va. It will also deliver its message of gratitude to Vietnam Veterans—the same message Olson heard from the Marine that day on the bus.

“He knew we needed to hear it because he and other Vietnam Veterans never heard it,” Olson said. “The design we created is my way of saying ‘Thank you.’”

Read & see more!

To view pictures and read about how the Exchange served GIs during the Vietnam War, go to the Exchange History Flickr Album.

Exchange Drives Away with People’s Choice Prize at Great American Trucking Show

Exchange Trucks Carry Special Message for Vietnam Vets

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  1. Tammy Jones on March 11, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    This is truly awesome. We as a nation need to be reminded of all that they do for our country and our freedom. I have the utmost RESPECT for all men and women who have served, are serving and getting ready to serve. Peace And Love!!

    • Steve Smith on March 12, 2019 at 11:52 am

      Ms. Jones:

      Thank you so much for writing to your Exchange Post. Yes, indeed, the work is truly awesome.

      Does anybody else out there want to share their thoughts on the truck wrap and our devotion to honoring Vets? If so, type your thoughts in the Comment box and hit enter. We want to hear!

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

  2. Gayle Middaugh on March 13, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I think anything that we can do to show our respect, love and appreciation to all prior, present and future Veterans, is awesome! This truck wrap is a great way to express that as it’s rolling down the road, to all who see it. I hope young and old appreciate their freedom and show these brave men and women that every day. Thank you for a great service!

    • Steve Smith on March 14, 2019 at 1:57 pm

      Ms. Middaugh:

      Thank you so much for writing to your Exchange Post!

      Yes, the truck design was truly a work of classic art and honors the Veterans who so richly deserve to be honored.

      Let’s keep the conversation going, Exchange Post readers!

      Type your thoughts about honoring Veterans and/or the truck wrap in the comment box and hit enter.

      Come on! We want to read them!

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

  3. Amos Jeffery on March 19, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Being a Gulf war vet myself, I think the truck design is really a true work of art, and a wonderful way to show our appreciation to our Forgotten Heroes who served, but when I came home from the gulf war, as I walked to my bus from the airplane on the airport runway, with all the parades and support from all of my community and fellow Americans, It brought tears to my eyes as I remembered what my brother and a relative, explained to me about the Vietnam war when they returned home, they could not even catch a cab to their home and they lived about 20 miles from the gray hound bus terminal, they were spit on by the public, while in uniform and called terrible names. This was a horrible way to treat a soldier after returning from war for his country, just because of your their color, but yet while in war a enemy’s bullet knows no color and the soldiers who serve with you all become brothers “non bias” family. Honor, Respect, Thank each and everyone of you who served, “Simple Fi” Airborne!!!!

    • Steve Smith on March 19, 2019 at 7:50 pm

      Mr. Jeffery:

      Thank you very much for writing to your Exchange Post. Great response!

      Let’s keep the conversation going! Anybody else out there in Exchange Post Land want to comment on the truck wrap and honoring Veterans? If so, type your thoughts in the Comment box and hit enter.

      We want to hear!

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

  4. Sonya Bateman on March 21, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    I wish my Daddy was alive to see this truck wrap. He was a Vietnam Vet and this would bring tears to his eyes to know that all of his fellow Soldier’s that lost their lives as well as those whose lives were never the same, finally get to see and feel some of this nations thankfulness. Brave men and women should be shown this kind of thankful heart each and everyday. Thank you from me and my Daddy I know he is smiling down on this effort. Sonya Bateman

    • Steve Smith on March 22, 2019 at 2:19 pm

      Ms. Bateman:

      Thank you so much for writing such a great comment to your Exchange Post. I’m sure your father would have loved the truck wrap. Let me take that back: I’m sure he IS loving the truck wrap.

      Let’s keep the conversation going!

      Share your thoughts in the Comment box and hit enter.

      We want to read them!

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

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