Friday, April 3, 2009

TN's Harper's Wrecker Claims National Honor

Nice story in the Weakley County Press:

Harper's Wrecker claims national honor Sabrina Bates, Chief Staff Writer

For his company’s dedication to public service, a family man who followed in his father’s footsteps has received a prestigious honor among those in the towing trade.

Lynn Harper was recognized in November for his community service and dedication in the field of helping others.

While Harper is not a public servant in the way a police officer or firefighter would be deemed, the son of the late Jerry Harper and owner of Harper’s Wrecker Service has the distinction of helping others during their most desperate situations.

Lynn Harper followed in his father’s footsteps in the towing business right after he graduated high school in 1986.

Since then, Harper’s Wrecker Service has built a one-of-a-kind reputation not only throughout the community it serves, but also to the organizations who enlist the Harpers’ help.

Every year American Towman magazine honors members of the towing industry with a distinguished Order of Towman award. The award is a Maltese Cross with a towing icon sculpted inside.

A press release issued by American Towing magazine earlier this month states, “Those professionals who receive the Cross of the Order enter into an elite organization of towing professionals nationwide, the Towman Order, who take an oath to continue their unparalleled dedication to their towns. Much of the work these towmen perform are accident-related tows dispatched by the town police department.”

Last June Martin Police Chief David Moore offered a nomination to American Towman magazine in support of Harper’s Wrecker Service.

In a letter submitted to the Order of Towman selection committee, Moore said Lynn, along with his mother, has carried a tradition left behind by his late father Jerry, of never hesitating to answer the call when the department has been in need.

“Examples of this are giving priority to police vehicles that need towed which is always an situation for us. Many times this has been done at cost for the service due to the Harper family’s strong belief in community service and their dedication to partnerships with local first responders,” Moore wrote.

The police chief went on to describe how Lynn has provided the department with junk cars on the firing range for ballistics exercises as well as providing cars for a mock DUI crash scene near Westview High School prior to graduation.

Moore emphasized the family business is truly the epitome of community partners in Martin, Weakley County, Tennessee.

Lynn said the experience and the kind words have been surreal.

“I don’t guess it’s hit me yet. It’s like being considered the best of the best, but I don’t consider it that way,” Lynn commented.

The event, which was held at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md., included a ceremony, reception and exhibit of more than 200 wreckers and trucks inside the Center. Iral “Peanut” Loar, a long-time family friend and business partner made the trip to Baltimore, Md. with him.

Lynn was the only towman from Tennessee that was sworn into the Order of the Towman that day.

He has officially gone from business owner to community leader to a Captain of the towing industry. Lynn joined 89 towing professionals from across the nation to hold the honor of Order of the Towman for this year.

Lynn will now travel to the next American Towman ceremony to help induct the newest members into the fraternal Order of Towman.

While the national honor is deemed one of the highest achievements a towing professional can garner, Lynn is humbled by the experience and was pleased to be home doing what he enjoys doing.

Some weeks, the business will make 36 hauls, which Lynn considers a “slow” week. Other times, it may be difficult for Lynn and his crew to catch a few hours of sleep in one night.

Lynn said, “That’s o.k. with me, I like a challenge.”

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