Archive for the ‘Rusty wade’ Category


How We Began


Our beginnings were as many organizations the actions of individuals. Some driver would become needy, and among the ATN Fans drivers would talk together and pool resources to help that driver.

In small groups we shared concerns, and we shared some efforts. Many of us did what we did quietly through friends in the belief that the recipient should not know where the aid was coming from. “Thank You” was not something most of us wanted to hear. Some of the recipients later became benefactors to others because, among the ATN Fans as among the trucking community in general, the belief in “pay me forward” rather than “pay me back” is strong. Some people did “pay back” when they were helped, those funds always seemed to find a new need to be applied to.

Over time it was only natural that small groups started discussing formalizing an organization to continue this effort. The shock we all experienced when one of the hosts of the radio show our group seemed to revolve around experienced the crushing loss in his personal life that our efforts could not ameliorate, gave some of us the spark that galvanized us into action at last.

Jacob Boulanger and his father Eric ( Bubba Bo) and Steven Sommers and his father Steve are for many of the ATN listeners an extended family. It seemed only fitting that we should guarantee that our trucking community efforts should reflect our acknowledgment of that relationship. Steven we agree to uplift in all his endeavors, and as a group we rejoice in his accomplishments. Jacob however we will with our own efforts try to honor because his life was cut short.

This memorial fund is the continuation of our community building that for most of us began with our participation in, and enjoyment of, the ATN show. Our hope is to also spread the community beyond the ATN audience to the entire trucking community. It is after all the entire trucking community we belong to that shares the beliefs that we put into practice here. Our roots as an organization are after all only the place to gain nourishment for the living plant we are bringing to life here. A fund by truckers for use helping truckers.

Jake Russell Boulanger Memorial Fund


Country Dan Rolling Along Thanks to Leland Martin and Truckers

I received this email today;

Hey Yoda, Here are some pictures of Country Dan getting his scooter donated by Darwin. I’ll send more when we are done. We are still working on getting the lift going for his car to haul it. He also got a chair donated to him so he can get around in his house. The scooter is too big to get around in his house. But he needs the scooter to get into work. There are some steep grades that the chair will not handle so we are glad he has the scooter! He has steep grades at his work place that he has to endure! There is also a steep grade at his driveway, so he really needs it to go down to get his mail too. I will write Darwin right now and tell him I sent you some pictures to post and that Country Dan really loves that scooter! I am also calling Landline and having them to give an update on the progress of helping Country Dan! Talk to you more soon. Thanks!
Leland Martin

Country Dan(Seated) and Leland Martin, showing off the new scooter that will help Country Dan get around!

The story of how a charity designed to work as a group of drivers helping other drivers got involved in this effort is not all that hard to explain. A driver that contacted the charity with his own needs, saw the original email Leland sent me asking for help getting Country Dan ( one of the personalities from the truckers channel on XM RADIO) a powered wheel chair so that he could go back to work. That driver had a chair that his mother had used. Both he and his mother met Country Dan at the Louisville truck show, and were fans. The rest thanks to the tireless efforts of Leland Martin is history now being made.
The community of truckers is alive and well. The community was kept alive or rebuilt by late night radio hosts and continued by XM open road and now Sirius Road Dog listeners. The next time someone says you cannot get 3 truck drivers to agree on anything or to work together, tell them about this story.

Country Dan really appreciates the new Ride!

As a side note, the request we posted from Leland Martin generated a second powered chair that will be stored in Cincinnati to be available to a driver who needs it. The St Christopher’s fund, the MERV, the medical supply company that donated new batteries for this chair, and several individuals and drivers not to mention the listener who donated the chair all came together to accomplish this. St Christopher’s fund will probably be the charity most likely to ask the chair to go to an individual who will need it because they are in the medical field. But the availability of it to them simply makes their efforts and all truckers interested in helping truckers efforts that much closer to meeting someone’s need. Who would have thought all these years later that listening to a radio show directed at truck drivers would have such good consequences?

The Truckin Bozo’s Website

Burnt Beans and I just had a conversation with J.R.  Those of you who were at Poppa Johns Parking lot for MATS may remember him from his 2 days of effort cooking in Burnt Beans’ tent.

I knew J.R. as a truck driver, tonight I know J.R. as the owner and partner, with his dog, in search and rescue.

J.R. is working in Joplin, Mo. He and his dog have been working for 36 hours now and they are working 1 hour, off for 1 hour.

The fatigue in his voice and the depression in his mind as the number of living people trapped in the wreckage goes down, and the number of recovered bodies grows. I knew he wanted some reassurance, but the only thing I could give him was my faith that GOD is in charge.  I hope he takes to heart my reminding him that somewhere in the miles long apartment complex he and his dog are going to start searching next might be that person or people waiting and praying that they will be found and succored.  I had to go back in my memory to times I prefer to avoid, but I was able to pass on to him my own saving understanding, that the living are praying for help, the dead people you find are not people, they are what those people leave behind as they go on to the next place and meet GOD.

We all know that people who have suffered in the tornados need help, we all know to pray for them and anyone else in the path of such destruction.  But I am writing this opinion article to remind myself and everyone else that we need to pray also for those brave firemen, lawmen, and volunteer search and rescue teams that rush to each succeeding disaster and bring hope to the trapped and injured or recovery to those who have gone on ahead. J.R. mentioned that there might be as many as 1500 still missing people just in Joplin. I ask each of you to add them also to your prayers.

Here is a link to a map of the area in Joplin that was damaged by the tornado.

Update, Wednesday morning,  Burnt Beans and I had another talk with J.R.   He found 15 people alive today in that 500 unit apartment complex. He was so uplifted!  I asked him again if there were other search and rescue dog teams available there in Joplin, and he said “NOT YET” more are on the way.


Rusty Wade

Burnt Beans and I decided to try to avoid doing the dishes again this morning at Sierra Sids’. They probably would remember us from last night and would be ready for us, so we walked across the street in front of Sierra Sids’ to the “Black Bear Diner.”



Jessie Was our waitress, and she seemed to have some idea how to deal with us, for instance the first thing she did was grab me by the ear and demand to see some money in my wallet before she would let us order breakfast!  We think Mr. Smith must have called her and warned her about us.  Don captured the moment!


Dave had touted the chicken fried steak so much that I had to try it. Looking at the menu I saw a breakfast with it, “The Big Foot",” so I ordered it. Don ordered the breakfast just below it on the menu called “The Grizzly.”  Here is a menu shot showing the two breakfasts.Image05242011081913

When the breakfasts arrived they were stupendous. I shot a few pictures so that you can see what they were like, and then Don and I tried to eat as much as we could!

The last picture was taken after we finished eating, and shows how much was left to chose from for Puppy’s “Doggie box”. (No wonder he is so fat LOL!)



What “Food Jihad” visit would be complete with out a picture of the fabulous deserts offered at the Black Bear Diner.  So here is a short sample of what you see when you walk in the door and a few “Food Jihad” proof we were there photos.  No we have not yet recovered any hunger so we have not yet been back across the street to try those deserts.. Want to make a bet (this is Sparks Nevada after all) on whether there will be an update to this story featuring :”Desert?”

Rated *****

Who was that masked man and why is he here?

It is a cool morning…. the sound of the helicopter blades whopping makes your blood race. Looking out the open door you see the green and red plumes indicating the landing zone,so your grip tightens on your medical bag as you get ready to go to work…it is time to save some lives!

Fast forward to today.

No helicopter now. It is a specially equipped RV.



In it’s own way you are still in a combat zone ready to save lives. No longer working for the government you are working for a private 501C3 charity called Thanks to the generosity of Boardman Medical Supply of Girard, Ohio you are there on the scene with help for a group of people who find it exceedingly difficult to locate medical help because of the nature of what they do, trucking.

This is the life, as I see it, of John Osburn, former combat medic, presently a licensed physicians assistant. He drives the MERV.

As a trucker I have asked myself why is John here. I think I have found some of the answers but the first answer is obvious, because the need is there and he recognizes it. He is following a mission he has followed all his life, as a combat medic and through years of civilian service as a paramedic with many more years of continuing education as a licensed physicians assistant. He did acquire his certification for P/A and his masters degree while in the military. Much of that continuing education was financed via John’s alternate career as a long haul truck driver and owner operator for Mayflower Van Lines.

When I first met John I had no idea what the MERV was or what its purpose was sitting in the truck stop parking lot. But having a brotherhood with him on several levels mandated I have breakfast with him and find out what it was all about.

To understand the MERV, you have to understand some aspects of the trucking industry that don’t make the front page of any newspaper and are not mentioned in any recruiting ads. Two facts alone will give you pause to think. One is the fact that the average truckers lifespan is shortened by this profession by 15 years. The second fact is that an inordinate number of truck drivers die in their sleepers away from family and friends.

The underlying causes of these two facts are under debate by those medical professionals who deal with our industry. Their existence is not. The MERV is the result of the actions and ideas of several people. Among the major contributors were Dave Nemo, John Osburn, Dr. John, and the people who graciously came up with the money to bring an idea to reality.

The idea of the MERV, as I understand it, is pretty simple. Put medical help and education in the parking lot among the drivers where they can access it. In that respect it is like the combat zone. A medic bringing medicine to you because circumstances make it difficult for you to go to the medicine. Also referring you to better facilities when necessary and advising you in how to improve your chances of survival.

Recently John took two hours to answer questions from interested drivers via a telephone conference line hosted by “All Drivers Together”. A recording of that conference is available online at a link that will be posted at the bottom of this article. That conference spent about half of its time explaining the MERV and its mission. What it can do and can not do. Another quarter of the time was spent dispelling rumors and myths about health treatment and the purpose of the MERV itself. And about a quarter of the time was spent giving John’s views on the necessity to improve oral care, diet and the use of natural medicines.


At the bottom of this article will be a link to the site where you will find the calendar of the dates and times where the MERV will be located. This calendar is constantly updated and revised as needed.

The last information at the bottom of this article will be contact numbers and names where you can not only get more information about the MERV but also information on how to make donations to help keep the MERV in the parking lots. It is not in the parking lots selling anything or transacting business to make money. It is here to help you in your time of need and give you advice and education so you can avoid finding yourself in that parking lot with that need with no one to help you.

It is hard to get John to talk about some of the real emergencies that he has helped drivers handle just by being there when these emergencies have happened. If you chat with John a while you can’t help but piece together the “saves” that John has already accomplished. You can’t help but wish that there were MERV’s in more parking lots so that fewer truck drivers would die quietly in their sleepers because they had no one to ask what was wrong, or talk to about how bad they were feeling.

Rusty Wade
I hereby give blanket permission to anyone to reprint this article in order to spread the word about the MERV through the trucking industry.

listen to the conference here


Where is the MERV?


To contact the MERV by telephone the number is 330-233-5169.

To make donations or get more information about the MERV call 855-367-6378