Army & Air Force Exchange Service Associate Rides Into the Driver Hall of Fame
DALLAS - After driving more than 3,465,477 miles—2.8 million miles for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service—Bradley Wacks' next stop is the National Private Truck Council's Driver Hall of Fame.
Wacks, whose work at the Exchange makes life better for Soldiers, Airmen and military families, will be one of four drivers honored April 30 at the council's annual conference in Cincinnati. His three decades of driving are especially remarkable—he's never had a Department of Transportation reportable accident or citation. His induction into hall of fame, considered one of the most prestigious awards in the transportation industry, is the latest accolade in his 30-year Exchange career.
"Many of my family members are affiliated with the military and delivering products to our facilities makes it that much more special," said Wacks, only the second Exchange driver to be inducted into the hall of fame and the only driver in the Exchange's 122-year history to be named Driver of the Year more than once.
Wacks is based at the Exchange's Dayton Terminal in Ohio. Each of his trips begins with a thorough safety check before heading off on his route, which includes Exchange stores in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota in the Department of Defense retailer's Central Region. When he arrives at an installation, Wacks may make as many as 15 deliveries to Exchange operations, such as main stores, Expresses and restaurants.
Wacks first fell in love with tractor-trailers when he was a teen through his neighbor and mentor, a truck driver who let him ride along on hauls and showed him the ropes. Wacks continues to pass his passion on to younger drivers at the Exchange as driver trainer, safety trainer, and chairperson of the Terminal Safety Council.
"Mr. Wacks is basically a superstar," said supervisor Danny Watkins, a logistics operations manager at the Dayton Terminal. "The stores fight to get him on their routes because they all love him."
Wacks has no plans to slow down. He still feels good and knows he is providing an invaluable service to Soldiers, Airmen, retirees and their military families.
"I'm going to hang in here for a while" Wacks said. "I like what I do, and I enjoy serving the military."