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Veterans Rally CR England
CR England recently honored military veterans during its sixth annual Veterans Rally in Salt Lake City UT. Pictured from left to right are Gene England, president emeritus of CR England and a WWII Army veteran who turns 100 in October; Dan England, chairman of CR England; Garth Patterson; John Crabtree; Richard McDonald and Steve Atkins.

CR England honors military veterans at sixth annual rally

CR England recently added three new military veteran drivers to its Honored Veterans Fleet, recognized a non-driver employee military veteran and honored the service of a World War II Army veteran as part of the company’s sixth annual Veterans Rally.

The recognitions took place June 7 at the CR England corporate offices in Salt Lake City UT. Since 2014, CR England has recognized its drivers with military service backgrounds and exemplary safety records, and added them to its Honored Veterans Fleet. There are currently 42 military veterans who make up CR England’s Honored Veterans Fleet.

“CR England is dedicated to honoring and recognizing our veteran driver and non-driver employees, and independent contractors,” said Dan England, CR England chairman. “We recognize the need to ensure that the honored men and women coming out of the military have great jobs, and CR England considers it a privilege to hire these individuals. We are proud to say that we have over 1,000 veteran drivers in our fleet.

“Our experience with hiring military veterans in our schools has been extremely positive. Military veterans stick to their commitments—they work hard, are disciplined, focused and are team players. We have a large group of incredible veteran team members, but these drivers we honor today were hand-selected to be recognized for their great job at CR England and for honorably serving our country.”

The newest members of the fleet include:

  • Garth Patterson, United States Army—Patterson served in the US Army from 1972 to 2004 as part of US Special Forces and a CID and CIA agent. Garth has earned numerous accolades, including several degrees in the medical and criminal fields. He is originally from Altoona PA. He has been with CR England for 13 years and is a One Million Mile Safe Driver.
  • John Crabtree, United States Army—Crabtree served in the US Army from 1993 to 1996 as an MP stationed in Fort Hood TX. John began driving for CR England 13 years ago and is a Two Million Mile Safe Driver. He lives in West Haven UT and is originally from Magna UT.
  • Richard McDonald, Army National Guard—McDonald served in the Army National Guard from 1963 to 1972 in Salt Lake City and Tacoma WA. He has been with CR England for 35 years and has achieved the feat of driving three million safe miles without an accident.

Also recognized was a 26-year CR England employee who served in the United States Navy.

  • Steve Atkins, United States Navy—Atkins enlisted in the Navy in November of 1988. He served on board the USS Coral Sea as a Machinist Mate for a six-month tour of duty. He was then promoted to an Engineman and assigned to the USS Fairfax, completing two six-month tours on that vessel. While on the Fairfax, he was chosen as Sailor of the Quarter for effectively running emergency drills in two different engineering compartments. Atkins was honorably discharged as a Petty Officer 3rd Class (EN) Engineman in 1992. Atkins currently works as the Director of Maintenance for CR England’s dedicated fleets and lives in Red Bay AL.

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Following the recognition of the new members of the Honored Veterans Fleet and Atkins, CR England Chairman Dan England presented Donald Pullan with the Honored Veteran Award. Pullan follows three previous recipients of this annual award: Col Gail Halvorsen (USAF Retired), also known as “The Candy Bomber” (2016); Brigadier General Christine Burckle, the first woman to serve as Commander of the Utah Air National Guard (2017); and Col Rayfel (Ray) Bachiller USMC (Ret.) (2018).

  • Don Pullan, United States Army—Cpl Don Pullan grew up in Salt Lake City and joined the United States Army when he turned 18 years of age. He served in the European Theater, a route which started with landing on Utah Beach on June 10, 1944, and included crossing the Siegfried Line and liberating Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps.

Pullan’s service ended just prior to the end of World War II when he was seriously injured by a land mine explosion that put him in the hospital for two months. He returned home on his birthday on Oct 3, 1945.

He documented many of his war experiences with a Kodak camera that was given to him by his father prior to leaving for his military service. Pullan’s camera shot 120 mm film and could capture eight full-frame or 16 half-sized photos. With that camera, he documented photos of battles, infantry-mates, captured enemies, the destruction of historical sites, social events (dancing with Churchill’s daughter Mary), the people of France and Germany, the countryside and the concentration camps. Interestingly, he says that while each roll of film only captured about eight photos, film was easy to purchase and the quartermaster provided quick developing of his photos.

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Pullan lost his camera for a short time in Kassel, Germany, when he was injured by the land mine, but a farmer found it, gave it to the Red Cross and Don was reunited with his camera since his initials and serial number were engraved on the camera case flap. The camera still is in his possession today.

In his home he has several walls and books dedicated to his war-time photographs. He has returned to the European Theater three times since the war ended, where he has continued his photography of some of the same sites he photographed in the 1940s.

Pullan was married just five days after returning to Salt Lake City, and he and his wife, Ruthie, were married for 64 years prior to her passing 14 years ago. They raised three children together in Salt Lake City. Today, in his spare time (at age 95) he hand paints personalized seasonal and patriotic designs on kitchen cutting boards and gifts them to veterans during his visits to the VA Hospital in Salt Lake. 

 

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