Driver Boyce Tucker is married to a woman from Ukraine. His wife wanted to bring her mother to the States this year, but that proved difficult as the situation in their home country started to unravel and tensions rose. It didn’t help that her mother’s health issues would make travel more difficult. As a veteran, Boyce has always stood for peace while he was in the service, and upon coming home all those years ago he has always made family his priority. As he and his wife stood undeterred by the difficult situation, Boyce feels thankful that more people in America share the same values, especially when it comes to protecting family, and are willing to go the extra mile to lend a hand. Listen to the Tucker family’s rescue efforts as Life By The Mile tells #truckdriverstories with FreightWorks’ own Boyce Tucker.
FreightWorks Professional Truck Driver
the response when i did leave and go to um and take off like like i did to poland i mean i had to there could have been a a bad response from the company i didn't expect one but i was very grateful that they yet we understand this you got to go and then once i got there the the prayers and well wishes that i got the the level of support um it it got here
this is life by the mile delivered by freightworks we are so excited today to have a special episode you know we have said that life of the mile is going to be an opportunity to tell the incredible stories of drivers and their families we're going to have industry experts and alike today we have an exciting opportunity to have boyce tucker with us and boyce you're a driver for freightworks right yes how long have you driven for the company for the company about three years okay and just real quickly how did you hear about us um i i was looking for a drive a job close to where i live and it was on um craigslist i believe okay right so you made your way here three years ago but the reason we're talking to you today is that there's a a matter of a global interest of course it's on every single headline every single news feed every single moment it seems in our nano and nanosecond news cycles and that's the whole issue of what's taking place with the russian invasion in ukraine and as it turns out you have particular interests and expertise and first-hand experience in that area and uh tell us why just just open up and tell us why uh well i'm i'm married to a to a lady from ukraine we've been married a little over five years and we have tried uh during that time to get her mother-in-law visa to come to the united states for a while and possibly during that during the immigration process be able to confer her to the united states permanently those visas were turned down um why why why did they turn them down when you hear about visa visas and the process and just the struggles why do they do that it's a huge struggle in this situation even though she owns a couple of apartments uh they viewed it that she had no reason to return to ukraine because her only daughter's living here she has no job you know she's retired and they they figured she would just ditch her apartments and not return so they wouldn't give her a visa so we she had an application once you make an application you've you've got a foot in the door you've got you got to start in the process for reapplying and reapplying and so when the tensions grew with russia uh converging on the country i uh i said you know we we need to reapply because it's it's really serious and this was you know maybe a week before the invasion we went ahead and made plans to go the the big problem that we had she has health issues her caregiver one of my wife's best friends works for the ukraine railroad and during this period at some point they basically informed her that she was going to go here do this do this she wasn't gonna be able to to to fill in as a an overseer of her care and so we we made plans for her and another person to travel to warsaw and so they were pretty much leaving ukraine as the war started oh incredible i mean and uh and and so it was pretty dramatic there were a lot of people trying to leave well a lot but not so much i mean there were there's so many people that took it slowly that this is going to happen and so yeah it was crowded i i get the story uh my mother-in-law's uh transportation actually became disabled maybe 10 miles from their destination they had to sleep in somebody's yard in a tent overnight in the freezing cold so they're trying to get from from where they were to where to poland okay they lived in niper okay explain to people because they don't know geography where that is south of kiev it's about as close to the to the uh eastern border with russia as kiev on the niper river main river it runs through ukraine um they were trying to first get to the vive and y'all probably heard that yeah that's that uh city often that's almost on the western end of ukraine and where every humanitarian aid and everything was developing and where people were first heading um from levive is when they got transportation toward poland and and became disabled and pretty much had had to rough it for a couple of days to get to more transportation so like sleep in a tent or yeah they were sleep had to sleep outside and my mother-in-law has health problems she's a diabetic as well as a stroke victim 75 years old so it wasn't an easy trip for but uh we were able to rent an apartment and they were able to get to the apartment we made flight plans and got over there and during this time my daughter uh in the states is doing all the stuff on the computer to rearrange another visa uh application meeting with the embassy the embassy closed in in kev and so we've had we made the meeting in the uh warsaw embassy uh we were able to get we we flew in on friday and actually were able to get the meeting scheduled for monday that's a miracle it really was that really now explain to people exactly what needed to happen to get them out of the country because you know what unfortunately boys a lot of americans don't have a passport they've never traveled before everything they believe they know about the world comes on the internet or television explain to people all the different details that had to fall into place to make this miraculous escape well she um well first of all luckily i had a passport i mean if you if if i didn't have a passport it's a bad story because the the whole crux of the matter if if an american citizen hadn't showed up with with her in her interview i'm not sure she would have been granted her visa but um and my wife you know obviously she had to have a passport she's still not a citizen she's a naturalized or in i'm sorry in permanent residence status and has to travel with her passport from ukraine as well as a bundle of paperwork from the continuing attempts for her citizenship once they got to la viv um and then they had transportation they the transportation broke down on them so from lev to the polish border they struggled once they got to a aid station or somewhere and there are aid stations out there humanitarian groups that are helping the these are parts of the story that i'm still not fully up on i know that her her and and my wife's niece is who did who made the trip niece of 19 years old um made made the journey and then they got transportation from right at the border from there into warsaw in which we had already pre we had rented an apartment so they had a place to go even though we hadn't got there yet we did all that online ahead of time my daughter our daughter worked hours on the computer doing the paper the scheduling and answering this and that to schedule the interview um i gotta i gotta say i mean i i took my laptop and i had to take over a lot of that once i got in country right and it it drove me crazy i mean it i'm not i'm not the greatest with the computer but i'm pretty savvy and the the process to get to there was uh excessive you know what so it's it's a lot of work it's it's it's a lot of god's favor it's a miracle that all of that came together the way that it did now were you actually in poland oh yeah yeah once once we got to we we we flew into warsaw on friday we had our interview schedule monday and we were approved for the visa the the problem monday we had an appointment like 10 o'clock in the morning and we get there at nine there's a line around the block uh it doesn't matter are these all people trying to do the same thing exactly they they they're they're just there making the original application they they've got little to no chance if they haven't had anything prearranged to have anything good happen to them for the next short period of time that's what i learned i didn't know that at the time i mean we were in a much better situation even though we're in line with them uh no i mean the the polish people did you know they did a lot for you however this line it was very cold outside we're waiting in line no bathrooms no food no water we're there for hours so what was it like lots of people yeah yeah yeah like i said lying around the block and even though you had an appointment you know it didn't matter we stood in line till we got in the door and got our point got our uh interview and once you get in the door what happened next well for one thing i they take away your laptop and and all that it's it's more it's worse than going to airport security you can't take cell phone you can't take hardly anything into the embassy to have your interview um and they they come in and they speak with uh the the visa applicant my mother-in-law and they spoke with me uh her sponsor um and what kind of questions do they ask well the the guy was point blank he said i see here where you've applied three times prior and uh we've denied it and the reason we denied it is because she has no reason in her situation only daughter or only family in the united states to come to come back and so that's why we denied it and he said uh truthfully that's why we should deny it again even under this situation and i said look i said i understand that i see your point but basically i try to follow the rules and laws and if it's at all possible i will have her back and he said visa granted how did you feel when he did that i was i was amazed but uh no this is hard to say in in my life i've been through a lot of uh situations speaking to somebody right and i could tell i had things going my way i mean even before you know even before he said that and that's not a you know you i could just tell you mainly i think he was looking for a reason to say yes because how could you say no right under under the circumstances certainly now boys let me let me ask you this so were you there in poland for how long uh a little over two weeks maybe three weeks okay i think 20 days we actually counted back there but there came a point where you got on the plane and came back over here right well what happened we had rented an apartment uh prior to getting there and we had other family members and friends that were trying to get trying to group together um we didn't think and and it took a week actually eight days from the day they said we'd get a visa until we actually got it uh in in in hand and so during that still feels pretty quick well it was but they they they told us you know the process seems you leave four days business days okay um once you get past the application okay all right so um but we we knew that with with what was going on with her as well as the other people that were coming to warsaw that we needed a different apartment for less money and bigger and so we'd already rented another apartment and we in during that time moved um during that eight days while we were waiting on the uh the the visa during that time the the other people did start arriving they started trying to investigate what they could and couldn't do and you know the options were just i mean nobody knows what they want to do what they need to do or how to do it it was pretty um pretty numbing to know that we had accomplished what we were there to get and do yet the the the the look on the look on their faces that they don't know what they're gonna do where they're gonna go right how they're gonna do it and you you saw all kinds of people old young families all all of them just words of mostly women and children hordes of humanity you know it reminds me again this whole story uh you know with the statue of liberty and that whole uh stanza about give me your tired your poor your huddled masses yearning to breathe free the wretched refuge sub your teeming shores that's good you know it it's really i mean that it's amazing that you have just this horde of humanity trying to live and keep their family together and the like i mean boys how do you look at that just as a man who's married to a ukrainian woman what do you make of what's going on over there i'm not asking for a political statement as much as you're a freight works driver but you've got a global perspective because of your life so what do you make of what's going on over there yeah i've always liked to travel i'm a veteran um pretty much peace love and hippie i'm gonna just put it put it point blank didn't didn't ever see a war where did you grow up uh grew up in statesville okay yeah yeah um never but i did go in the military it was all peace time i didn't know didn't dodge a bullet while i did my four-year service um but i never saw a war that i that i liked um i didn't i mean didn't take a lot of activity in saying yes or no but just in my opinion not good for war after my experience with this i don't know what's different i hate to say that uh other situations in in africa in syria uh in the north bank you see it but it's just something it's not it doesn't hit home it doesn't get close to home it doesn't get close to the heart i don't know what's different about this conflict but for me it's very different um i'm pretty compelled to go back over there yeah my wife and daughter don't want me to right but um it's it's 50 50. i mean i'm i'm i feel like i need to insure it boyce you know what uh one of the things that we love about freight works you know we're a family and uh you know we're also people of faith and and there's a scripture that talks about the fact that we're to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep and uh you know this you know this from having been at freight works when their family tragedies or situations that happen we're not just a company that forgets about that we care about all of that and so what is so interesting to me is the host here this podcast is that here we have a driver you're a diligent provider for your family it just so happens you're married to a ukrainian woman she has a family and and you worked hard to get her out but beyond that you have a heart for what's going on there and a lot of our drivers have hearts for things that go far beyond delivering the next load and that's what strikes me so just talk a little bit about is is the suffering there what touches you or the needs of the people or what what is it it's it's a combination of things it's it's and it's crazy to put my hand on and and to wrap your head around because i understand politics and and political situations i understand russia's problem with having a having somebody close to their border that's probably wanting to be part of the north atlantic treaty organization um i understand this i mean it's it's a yin and yang anytime you got a conflict or political conversation if it was an easy situation to to to to solve there wouldn't be a conversation about it right it would already be there wouldn't it that's why we have these conversations is because they're 49-51 there's always yin and yang and give and take and when you can see the other side's political point it bothers you but it also bothers you that the way that they attempted to correct what they see as as as an injustice well you know for example i've told people uh cuba's 90 miles from the united states how would you feel if nuclear weapons or military might was reinforced in in cuba and it's not to make a case for whatever russia is doing but there are perspectives on all of this and of course people that haven't traveled and most americans haven't voiced like you have and i've had the privilege to to do don't understand there are geopolitical realities with ukraine and russia that go way way way way back so it's but mainly from a common sense standpoint it's the proximity i mean it's um i i've got to say we um you know there that we have a my my wife has a first cousin that lives all the way up next to the russian border i can't name the town right now and
you know he he's staying there i said that he has two two of his daughters that uh he won't let leave that's two to the two of the things that we're trying to uh get help for but he he he doesn't want his daughters to leave you know boyce uh you and i were talking before we started this podcast episode we both have our hearts kind of anchored in eastern and central europe i have a russian-born daughter and there have been 72 000 approximately children adopted from russia to the united states putin got upset and some years ago now back in 2000 12 or 13 or so he stopped it our daughter was in the first group of 60 and you know my heart has always been touched by that part of the world i've been to ukraine actually visited a children's hospital that were all cancer victims as a result of chernobyl and uh and so there's a lot of suffering and a lot of pain that's there but in the midst of it all there's hope what does your mother-in-law think about being here she she can't believe it um talk about some of her experiences like for example i had russian friends and i had friends that came from romania and other places when the wall came down and folks came to the united states i had i had a man i was with who wept when he went to the grocery store he couldn't he could not believe it she um she pretty much is just well it's like um with with viber and the internet and the phone capabilities we actually sent her a phone with our in our plan years ago and for many for a lot of hours of the day just even just around the house uh when when m maria's her name maria hodak um they would be on the phone and even not talking just so it's a way to really anchor them in well because she was pretty much alone in in ukraine they they pretty much stayed on the phone all the time i mean not not all the time but for hours not talking but just like walking around the house or this is our dog and this is our house and this is her car and and so she was she'd already knew ever knew her way around before she got here uh she was she's just so um she's just overwhelmed though still with with all that's happened it's um um considering uh being a stroke victim it's difficult to tell yeah uh what level of emotion uh you know it's it's um she's a little hard to read but i don't know if that's from her or her cognitive ability or just you know you don't know what level of normal you're at you know boys this is such a great reminder and folks for those of you that uh watch this podcast we always try to reinforce the drivers have stories that go far beyond boys just driving the driving the loads let me shift gears though and ask you about freightworks you've been here three years what are the things you appreciate about the company well the the number one thing and i was going to mention in a minute ago and got sidetracked the response when i did leave and go to uh and take off like like i did to poland i mean i had to go there wasn't um um there's no schedule there there could have been a uh there could have been a a bad response from the company i didn't expect one but i was very grateful that they yet we understand this you got to go and then once i got there the the prayers and well wishes that i got the the level of support uh it it got here well you know when we when we tell people boyce that uh if you become part of the freight freight works team and your driver or whatever load plan or whatever it may be you're part of a family we really really mean that and when we say we're going to pray for people we mean that too and while we have a family as you know that has diverse opinions and perspectives and genders and ethnicities religious views no religious views the leadership of this company is firmly committed to biblical principles which mean that we care we care and we love and we encourage and what is so wonderful is to know that in the midst of all of it you're being a you know a dad a son-in-law and and just somebody committed to your wife and your family in a way that's so dramatic so what would be your prayer for what what's happening in ukraine these days if people want to pray intelligently how should they pray
you know um talking about my mother-in-law and how she hasn't uh hadn't said a lot um she did say it's in god's hands um the i don't i don't know what a reasonable outcome is to expect um i got a feeling from what i've seen um got a couple of videos personally taken of what's going on
i just um i think that you the people in ukraine do not trust giving up it's either fight or die right uh period and i don't i don't that's that's only uh that's only something that you would expect to see probably not in all countries but in a lot of countries you don't get that it's like but but with you with the people in ukraine they have seen the the terrible things that that the russian federation has done and they don't trust them i mean you can't give up to them because of what's happening when you do give up well and it's like many of my israeli and my jewish friends boys who tell me never again never again and and i think what's been so inspiring to people around the world is to see this incredible fortitude and resilience and and i really believe that a byproduct of this appears is a fortification of nato you have countries that were waffling and sitting on the sidelines and so there may come out of this sacrifice which is horrific we need to remember folks this is not a video game this is not some movie that's happening it may seem like that to you but it's not and and the reality is it's real lives real people real mass graves and and we just can't idly sit by and uh you know boys i'm just i'm i'm inspired by your story and i know other folks are going to be inspired too you know one of the things that we do uh as we come to the end here and there's so much more to the story and and i'm so grateful for your your heart it's obvious that your heart's been touched by all of this but boys believe it or not you get a gift for being on this podcast you get a gift and i know that's not the reason you came so you get to choose between this cap this cap which is a life of the mile leather patch there or a genuine yeti mug well i'm not a hat man i got a lot i've got a lot of shortcomings but i've got a good head of hair yeah you know you know what we we get a lot of sound bites that life by the mile delivered by freight works i'm not sure anybody's ever said i'm not a hat guy i have a lot of shortcomings but i've got good hair you do have good hair thank you are you a coffee drinker um every day but not much okay well whatever whatever that mug food would be about a day and a half okay well you can put whatever in here it keeps it cold keeps it hot this is a genuine yeti life of the mile mug we got the logo there it's got the freightworks logo on the back and so you are now an alumni of life of the mile delivered by freightworks and we want you to be an ambassador and to get people to like it and subscribe it's it's been a blessing to have you share your story today it's been nice to be here i appreciate the interest and the response from the company and i appreciate my mug you know what he's a good mug promoter too this is life by the mile delivered by freight works it's our uh one or two times a week podcast we want you to like share engage make comments you know become an ambassador digital ambassador tell the marketplace that you can learn the incredible stories of truck drivers professional drivers like boyce and uh and we're so grateful for the story that you've shared today and we pray that it will inspire people to pray and engage and become involved in in a real issue in the world today thank you i appreciate being here thank you
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