Trucking Took My Heart

Submitted By: Tony Milwee

My name is Tony Milwee, and I’m a 36-year-old trucker who lives in Harlan, Kentucky. Since I was a kid, I felt my heart belonged to a truck, because trucking is all I’ve ever known. You see, my dad was a trucker for over 30 years, driving up until five months before he died in 1995.

A long time ago when my father was in better health, he started T&R Trucking, which was named after my little brother and me. My dad hauled a little bit of everything, all over the country, but his steadiest run was hauling liquor from Bardstown, Kentucky to Texas.

Early in 1995, Dad became sick and was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. It was in July of that year, when I was 15 years old, that my dad passed away. He had always been my hero and although he was gone, his 1987 359 Peterbilt was still sitting in the driveway. As long as that truck was there, I felt like a part of my dad was with me.

It wasn’t long before the medical bills started coming in. And those bills eventually left my mom with no choice but to sell Dad’s truck. When I had to watch that truck pull out of the driveway with someone else driving it, the reality that my dad was gone finally hit me.

Growing up without a truck killed me, because I always dreamed of having my own. I went to work for a trucking company straight out of high school, but eventually had to leave and begin working for a coal company on a strip mining job. But even after all those years, I still dreamed of owning my own truck.

Finally, at the age of 34, I got my chance. I had been laid off from my mining job and began working for an excavating company whenever they could use the extra help.  Around that time, one of my best friends, Jeremy Jones (Cowboy), asked if I would like to buy his 1997 Kenworth. It was great deal, and I jumped at the chance. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been working on the truck to get it road ready. Now I’m just about ready to begin my own journey with the support of my woman and my two boys. I can feel my dad beside me each step of the way telling me not to give up, because dreams really do come true.