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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingAugust 23 - August 29, 2017

Giving Tribute to the POW/MIA

00 b7ce5By GEORGE L. NITTI

Sergeant's Towing in Portland, Ore., dedicates nearly half its fleet to military themes. Of their 16 trucks, seven of them are dedicated to the armed services and their latest addition gives tribute to the POW/MIA.

For those too young to remember the Vietnam War, the early seventies brought much citizen concern over the fate of U.S. military personnel taken as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action. Public outcry brought greater awareness to the issue, which continues to linger on in the hearts and minds of the American public who pledge "You Are Not Forgotten." With their latest wrap, Sergeant's Towing's new 2015 GMC 3500 with a Jerr-Dan body captures the spirit of this campaign.

The first striking image on the black-and-white truck is laid front and center on its hood. The imagery is based on the original and poignant POW/MIA flag, designed by the National League of Families.

On Sergeant's truck, several core ingredients of that traditional flag are highlighted. They include the black silhouette of the bust of a man, a watchtower with a guard on patrol, and a white five-pointed star wedged between the white letters POW and MIA. Below, in white lettering and all caps, is the motto: "YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN."

That same imagery, with the addition of barbed-wire fence, is also projected on both sides of the body of the truck. Steve Preston, owner of Sergeant's Towing, gives credit to the art department of Cortez Graphics, a local company that helped him with the design, and explained the process.

"First, we spent a lot of time on the Internet researching the POW logo. Then, it is brought to their art department where it is digitally created. They send us the proof; and when we approve, they do a digital overlay on the truck, full scale. It's fairly simple once the design is done."

Preston, a fan of the digital wrap, also pointed out several other advantages including the ability to make it any color you want, requires less clean-up work, involves a short turn-around time from design to finish, and panel replacement being easily done with new digital renderings should areas of the truck become scratched, dented or in need of body repair.

Outside of a sparkling, slick looking truck with exemplary graphics giving tribute to the POW/MIA, the company name is not lost in the mix. Although behind a backdrop of a black and white American flag, Sergeant's company name is accentuated, helped by the all black background that it sits atop, thus serving to punctuate who they are.

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A Tribute to "Superman Shawn"

0 5d2cdBy George L. Nitti

On Feb. 17, 2016, Richard "Shawn" Eaton of Eaton Towing and Recovery in Williston, N.D., was responding to a call with a heavy-duty rotator when his right front tire hit a patch of mud that sucked one of the wheels off the asphalt, subsequently rolling the unit six times.

According to his sister Jessica, after "a hard fight," Shawn, 37, passed away that March.

At the 2016 American Towman ShowPlace-Las Vegas in May, the company purchased a 2016 Kenworth Twin Steer with a 60-ton Jerr-Dan rotator.

"It was the replacement to the one that Shawn was driving," said Richard Eaton, Shawn's father.

As a tribute to Shawn, the "Superman" logo was placed on the hood and wheel lift of the unit. Shawn had a lot in common with Superman. As a tower rescuing vehicles and as a volunteer on the QRU/Fire Department in Idaho, Shawn truly saved lives.

"When the oil was booming in North Dakota," said Richard, "Shawn was the first person from the family to go out there and establish our business. Growing up, he played sports and loved baseball and was very strong and athletic. He was a great waterskier; third in the region."

Shawn was well-loved by many.

"If you could have attended his funeral," Richard said, "we had to hold it in the auditorium because there were so many people who came out. He was very well-liked. He would do anything to help people. I had no idea how many people he had touched in his life."

A telling incident occurred when he was very young.

"When he was a little kid, between 3 and 5 years old, he had a Superman cape and he would watch Superman stop cars. One day when he was wearing his cape, he tried to stop a car, holding on to the rear bumper. That was Shawn."

A song that Shawn really loved was called Charlie Puth's "One Call Away," about someone coming to the rescue of his love. Lyrics include, "Superman has nothing on me," which is imprinted on the pylon that turns the rotator.

Above all else, Shawn was a family man, leaving behind a wife, three young kids and a very close family.

"He is now a guardian angel, looking over us," Richard said.

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Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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