PHOENIX – Valley residents have come to expect U.S. Armed Forces SuperGraphics trucks lining the streets and U-Haul Team Members handing American flags to giddy children every Nov. 11.
While a few onlookers stare inquisitively along the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade route each year, more and more onlookers are equipped with the answer to U-Haul Company’s presence in the parade dating back to 2004.
U-Haul participation tends to shine a light on its commitment to employing veterans and assisting those who served. About 14 percent of U-Haul’s 20,000-plus Team Members across North America have worn the uniform.
“From the beginning, U-Haul was founded by a veteran (L.S. “Sam” Shoen),” U-Haul Veterans Recruiter Ed Custodio, a former U.S. Army First Sergeant who marched in the Phoenix Veterans Days Parade, said.
“Veterans always have been the fabric of U-Haul’s success. Being involved in different events like this throughout the nation is our way of simply saying thank you for your service, and also showing that we’re an organization that doesn’t just talk the talk – but we also walk the walk when it comes to our commitment.”
Retired Phoenix resident Sam Bell was pleased to learn details behind U-Haul’s presence as he waved to the 65 Team Members flanking the commemorative moving trucks.
“That’s excellent because we have a lot of veterans coming home now and they need jobs,” Bell said. “It’s not a very good jobs market. I like to see them get some preferential treatment.
“When I was working and was running a service department, I hired vets and gave them preference because vets are excellent workers. They come back and they know how to take direction, how to get jobs done and know they are supposed to do the job. They have that work ethic from being in the military.”
Chandler resident Frank Gates, retired U.S. Army, saluted U-Haul for its patriotism while noting that was not the only reason he admired the Company.
“I used U-Haul in the service,” Gates said. “Some of us have had to move ourselves. Also, my daughter was in Texas and she moved here. I used U-Haul – excellent service. I think it stands on its own laurels as a company. I’d recommend them to anyone.”
Have you seen U-Haul trucks in the Phoenix Veteran’s Day Parade? Tell us about it in the comments below!