Anderson Trucking Service HELPS Wounded Soldier GET Home
St. Cloud, Minn. – Anderson Trucking Service, Inc. (ATS) and Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) recently joined efforts to bring a wounded soldier back home to Minnesota.
In early April 2007, Walter L. Fricke, founder and AirBoss of VAC, contacted John Wojack, Chief Pilot at ATS. Fricke told Wojack about Sgt. Anthony Larson, a soldier from the St. Cloud area. Larson had spent the past 18 months recovering from injuries he suffered while in Iraq. He was finally going to be released from Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. Fricke needed help from Wojack and ATS to get Sgt. Larson back home to Minnesota.
Without hesitation, Rollie Anderson, President and CEO of ATS, said “yes” when approached about the use of his company’s plane to help Sgt. Larson get home. “We are delighted and especially honored for the opportunity to support soldiers like Sgt. Larson,” Rollie stated.
So, Larson’s trip home was planned with VAC, and on April 28, 2007, aboard the ATS corporate jet, Sgt. Larson returned home with his dog and family members by his side, to an illustrious and well-deserved hero’s welcome.
Hundreds of people came out to show their support - 200 plus bikers carrying large American flags, city officials, family, friends and scores of others who simply wanted to express gratitude to Sgt. Larson for his service and sacrifice. When the ATS BeechJet touched down shortly after 4 p.m., the crowd erupted in cheers and furiously waved their homemade signs and American flags. However, it was when Sgt. Larson and his dog emerged from the small aircraft, that the crowd really went wild.
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Bill Woolsey, Vice President of ATS, was honored to be a part of the group that welcomed Sgt. Larson back home. “It was a warm, heartfelt event that I wish each veteran had the opportunity to experience – particularly those who've suffered wounds in the course of their duty,” he said. “I was proud to be part of a community that honors and respects its service members, and I was also proud to be part of a company that participates in these types of programs.”
Wojack was modest when it came to the many thanks he received, saying it was Sgt. Larson and those like him who deserved all the gratitude. “I was so honored to be able to transport a wounded veteran home to the hero's welcome he's deserved for such a long time,” Wojack stated. “I hope we can do more trips like this and that more and more communities will continue to welcome home soldiers like they deserve.”
About Anderson Trucking Service Inc.
Anderson Trucking Service Inc., with offices in the United States, the Caribbean and Europe, is the largest truckload carrier in Minnesota, and the 45th largest transportation company in North America. ATS offers Specialized, Flatbed, Heavy Haul, Van, Logistics, Specialized Furniture, Intermodal and International Transportation Services to companies throughout the world.
About Veterans Airlift Command
Founded by Walter Fricke, a combat-wounded veteran, it is the mission of Veterans Airlift Command to “provide air transportation for medical and other compassionate purposes to wounded warriors, veterans, and their families through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots.”
PHOTO #1 CAPTION: More than 200 bikers, primed and carrying American flags, came out to welcome Sgt. Larson back to St. Cloud.
PHOTO #2 CAPTION: Members of the St. Cloud community wait on Sgt. Larson to arrive and the opportunity to give him a hero’s welcome.
PHOTO #3 CAPTION: Sgt. Larson emerges from the ATS corporate jet with his dog by his side.
PHOTO #4 CAPTION: Sgt. Tony Larson and ATS Chief Pilot John Wojack talk after their flight from Washington, D.C. to St. Cloud, Minn.