Road Warriors

by Carrie Bryant
Brownstown Township, Michigan, USA

The summer of 1990, my kid brother moved to California. Mom and Dad had to get his car out to him, so they decided that Mom would drive it to California two weeks before Christmas, then Dad and I would fly out there and spend Christmas together with both my brothers. The day before my mother left, she fell and broke her left wrist and had to have a cast up to her elbow.

Dad plotted her route by way of Indianapolis. By the fourth or fifth day of her trip, while I was at my parents’ house helping Dad, Mom called. She was in Texas, not far from some friends of theirs, but she found herself so tired she pulled off the road for a 20 minute nap. She woke up and drove to a restaurant, where she called their friends. They asked her to come and stay for the rest of the day and night to visit, so she got directions to their place and left the restaurant.

As mom stepped outside, a man came up to her and asked if she was driving a Ford EXP with out-of-state plates, and had she pulled off the road somewhere a little while back to take a nap or something. Mom was wary about all the questions, but the man assured her that he meant no harm. Once she said yes, she was that woman, he asked her to please wait where she was while he made a call and he would come back to explain. He went to his truck, grabbed his radio microphone, and made a call.

Road Warriors When he returned, he told her that truck drivers had been following her since Indianapolis. It seems that a driver had noticed this little white-haired lady with a cast on her left arm and driving a stick-shift cross-country. Since she didn’t have a CB radio, and probably didn’t have a cell phone, they took it upon themselves to watch over her. They knew what hotel she stopped at for the night. Each morning another driver would pick her up and continue the trip. Any time the driver following her had to go in another direction, he radioed another trucker driver who picked my mother up and continued following her.

Mom never knew she was being followed day and night by these truck drivers. The driver at the restaurant, telling my mother this story, stated that when she had pulled off the road for those 20-30 minutes, the drivers had lost sight of her and panicked. They were looking for her when he spotted her car at the restaurant and stopped to make sure she was all right. Once he confirmed she was the right lady, he had to call the other drivers to let them know he had found her safe and sound, as they were getting ready to call the state police to look for her.

I can’t thank those highway angels enough for the care, worry and protection they gave my mom during this trip.

Originally published as HeroicStories #121 on February 15, 2000
Available in The Best of HeroicStories, Volume 2.

34 thoughts on “Road Warriors”

  1. Those weren’t Road Warriors. Those were Road Guardian Angles. We all need some in our lives. I just hope I don’t make mine work overtime.

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  2. Wonderful story. She was blessed by gaurdians. That being in 1990. I have to wonder if that would happen in these days. Time have changed soo much………..

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  3. What I like about this story is it demonstrates how sometimes we have no idea that others are watching out for us, helping to keep us from harm. What people often think are “guardian angels” are really simply GOOD PEOPLE who care about others.

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  4. I have been a Heroic Stories subscriber from the beginning, and I don’t remember this story! What a great story, I think it is inspiring. How wonderful that they each took turns helping her to reach her destination and took the time to find her and make sure she was okay. Everyone is busy and besides moving their goods, which I’m sure were on a schedule, they went out of their way when she was not in sight. I especially like how the trucker let all the other guardian truckers know the special delivery had be located!

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    • “Let”? I’ve known some white haired ladies that wouldn’t let you stop them! Sometimes life throws things at us and we make do. Sometimes that means driving a stick shift across country with a broken arm.

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      • Leo, while I don’t have any idea where you live – or which ladies you might have in mind – if I don’t know those same ladies then there are many more out there that are determined that they *WILL* do what they want to do, *WHEN* they want to do it, and *HOW* they want to do it. I think they all believe the rest of us should just sit down and get over ourselves.

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  5. I spent 40 years out there driving cross country. Years ago we would stop and give assistance to stranded motorist. Time have change since then and the introduction of the CB, changed a lot of things. Now most companies will not let a driver stop, because of law suites and hijackers.
    Even today I miss being out there and being able to help.
    I have met people like your mother and might have been one of the drivers back then.
    There are a lot of us that would do things like that today.

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  6. I must say that even though we know the world is going south, there are still many people who take the time to care. As in this story “Road Warriors”, there are people who take the time to watch out for others. I, for one, am one of them. Not only do I watch out for people but for animals also. Thank GOD for the heroes that silently watched over this woman. She was blessed by Angels sent to keep her safe.
    If everyone would take a moment to “pay-it-forward” one kindness that was shown to them, this world would be a better place.
    Be blessed and share a kindness!

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    • Truckers, yes. However there are others. I once belonged to a motorcycle club who made regular drives up and down the neighboring freeway, LOOKING for motorists in trouble. We covered the three major freeways running through town and a number of the more heavily-traveled side roads. We estimated we were able to help somebody about once a week.

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  7. Heartwarming story! I don’t remember it from before, but then the memory isn’t what it used to be. I’m sure there are many folks out there busy doing nice things for others, we just don’t hear about many of them. Media likes the sensational. I’m looking forward to reading newly submitted stories; we have to have hope that there will be many.

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  8. Wonderful story. The white haired lady here wouldn’t have the courage to travel that distance with 2 good arms!…. & I love to hear about the truckie angels out there…

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  9. Those angels are a blessing. I had a couple of them help me to get to a truck stop in college when a blizzard rolled in on my way home one Thanksgiving. I was driving between two and had my CB on and they made sure my little car and I stayed on the road and got to a safe place to wait out the storm. God Bless Them All!

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  10. It’s actually a bit creepy, when you think about it, that those truckers were “stalking” her without her knowledge. Makes you wonder how many people might be watching you with a “non-benevolent” intent.

    You are not alone!

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    • I’m kinda sorry that’s the first thing that comes to mind for you. No, it doesn’t make me wonder about those with non-benevolent intent. I’m absolutely convinced that examples like our truckers here far outnumber any of those. If anything it makes me appreciate all the more that people are fundamentally good, and that there are many with, to use your term, benevolent intent.

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  11. I do not remember this story and I also have subscribed from the very beginning. I emailed Joyce, the editor, quite a bit and was shocked to learn she passed away.

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  12. I drove a truck locally and worked for a Landscaper in the early/mid 70’s, and did a lot of driving (cars) back in the late 90’s. There are still a few like those drivers, but not many as there used to be. Too many who apparently _did_ “get their license from a Cracker Jack box.”

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  13. I read Heroic Stories from the beginning and loved most all of them so I was delighted to see it return. Thanks, Leo and Randy! This an example of a delightful one.

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  14. I am the funeral coordinator at my parish, and it’s been a rather two rough weeks at work with several families having lost loved ones.
    So just for one day, today, I had hoped not to shed any tears.
    And then I read this story, and oh my, I can’t stop crying.
    What a wonderful group of truckers.
    I once read a story of a young woman who was driving between Dallas and Austin, with her car packed with clothes and boxes and everyone just knew she was on her way to school (you could see the UT Austin stickers), and like the little gray haired lady, several truckers felt that they had to keep their eye on her, to make sure she made it to Austin safely. When one saw her get off I-35, he let the others know that she was home.
    There are lots of good people out there. Sadly, you hear more about the bad ones.
    I’m so glad I found Heroic Stories.

    God bless.

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  15. I’m not surprised by this. When I moved to California many years ago, I was pulling a trailer with all my worldly possessions. I was laboring up a mountain in the right hand lane, when a big-rig pulled into the right lane right in front of me. I was truly annoyed until I realized that suddenly I was being pulled up the mountain. I had never heard about the slipstream created at the back of a moving truck, so I had no idea that was even possible. But the trucker certainly understood, and when he had a chance to do a good deed, he tool it. I had a most pleasant trip the rest of the way, knowing that the truckers were really looking out for the other drivers.

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  16. I remember this story from it’s first appearance and it caught me again. Joyful tears. There are still people out there like these.

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  17. These stories are new to me and really buoy me up after a difficult day. The Helping Hands piece about a man born without them, made me realize how lucky I am by comparison although mine ache with arthritis!

    I hope to contribute a story myself when new ones are requested – about a quiet heroine I once met and will never forget.

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  18. My sister & her husband & her little girl Judy Going to go From St. Louis, MO. Down to the state of OK.
    Their car broke down. I told them I would drive them down for I had never met his family.
    I got down I-44 near spring field, MO. I had a CB radio in my car & went on ch-9 for REACT That I was a member of & put out a call. I got ahold of a service station That sent out a Tow truck. The problem with my car was something simple & my sister asked if there was some place to get some milk for Judy for she did not bring enough. The station owner said For all of us to get in his big car & he drove us to a steak & shake. He said you all must get something to eat & some milk for Judy. When I pulled out my billfold I only had $30.00 dollars in it . the manger said it was all on the house. When he return us to the gas station I asked what I owe him he said nothing. He had one of his workers fill my gas tank up too. After I got all of us back to St. Louis, MO. & I got my paycheck I sent a check to the station saying how thankful we were. He at the station return the check torn up in 4 ways. This was way back in the 1970’s I think She just turned 50 years of age this month.

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  19. Didn’t see where to post about your podcast so I will try here. I prefer to read rather than to listen because I can read faster than I can listen.

    Enjoy the stories. Think we all need a little bit more positive in our lives rather than all the negatives. My “Latin” is rusty but “non illegitimus carburudum” i.e, don’t let the bastards grind you down. Keep up the good work.

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  20. Finally. Some encouraging news. I believe the more we help others, without expectation of reimbursement, the younger our own hearts become. And our own burdens become lighter.

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