It has been said that truckers are the backbone of America, as they spend numerous hours away from their families, hauling our necessities across the country to make sure we are able to live comfortably.

As September 13-19 is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, it brings me great honor to present Alabama’s Truck Driver of the Year: Rosko Craig!

(Credit: Facebook/Alabama Trucking Association)

The world just keeps getting smaller. It seems with every technological advancement, we become more aware of just how close we are to other people, whether physical or metaphorical.

In this case, it’s physical.

My family moved to Alabama when I was a preteen. We still went back and forth to Chicagoland for numerous years to visit our family. Many of my family members have now moved south, mainly in Atlanta suburbs. I get it!  City life in a better climate.

Keep in mind that a few of these were a bit older than my siblings and I. So, they were sometimes our babysitters, taking us home from school, etc.

One of my favorites growing up was my cousin Darnell.  He was closer in age, and he was the rebel of the family. So, I got a glimpse of “street life” through him… Mind you, we’re all PKs (preacher’s kids) living in the suburbs. Therefore, it’s not like we REALLY saw the tough streets of Chicago, but at that time, we thought we did.

Anyway, one of Darnell’s best friends had the nickname of Turk.  Never knew where it derived or what his real name was. I just knew he was always around. So, he ended up being like a cousin.

Darnell on the left, Rosko on the right with a friend on the corner near their homes in Markham, IL.

Fast forward maybe 20 years, and I get a message on Facebook from some guy named Rosko who really seems to know me and my family, but he lives somewhere south of Tuscaloosa. I have no idea who he is…. Until I click a picture: TURK!!!

At some point after my family left Illinois, he and his wife moved to Alabama, too. Apparently, my cousins told him I was on the air in Tuscaloosa, and as it turns out, his family had been listening to me on the radio for years.

Sent with the caption: "You're fancy now!"

Now, he gives me a holler when he’s within range! It makes me happy to know that they’re proud to know me; and I’m just as proud to share that Alabama’s Truck Driver of the Year is my friend! Craig is said to have logged more than 3 million miles of accident free driving for Montgomery Transport, a phenomenal order for any driver!

Rosko with Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (Credit: Facebook/Alabama Trucking Association)

But the fact of the matter is that every truck driver is someone’s friend, father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, or cousin.  It’s something to consider as we travel.

They’re simply making a living by transporting goods from one location to another.  It could be fuel, it could be the latest items we’ve ordered, it could be food items.

Regardless of the load, every trucker makes major sacrifices and expects to make it home.  So, travel safely, give them room to maneuver, and if you happen to be traveling and find yourself at a truck stop where you encounter a trucker, be sure to show appreciation.

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