An army veteran has turned to driving trucks after her mother died unexpectedly, leaving a trucking company behind. 

Ashley Leiva served as Sergeant First Class in Senior Culinary Management in the Army for 15 years, but ended her career 6 months early when her mother suddenly fell ill. 

“She was everything to me,” said Ashley of Noemi, her mother, to KRIS 6 News. “There was never a time we were without because she was always — she was always working.”

Before her death in February 2021, Noemi was hoping to retire after driving trucks for her own company for 20 years, but when she suddenly got sick and quickly passed away, Ashley and her brother decided to take the company into their own hands. The two took CDL classes, earned their commercial licenses, and changed the trucking company name to honor their mother. 

The siblings changed the company name from Leiva Trucking, to Noemi Trucking, and now, Ashley says she can’t imagine doing anything else but driving trucks. 

“I love it. It’s something I’ll do for the rest of my life,” she said. “Just having that name stick around — it just means a lot.”

Ashley has since been nominated for the Chamber of Commerce Transition Trucking Driving for Excellence Award program.

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