In 1978, a hurricane hit Mobile, Alabama, and 22-year-old Denise Killcrease helped out by pulling rubbish into the street, where it was loaded into dump trucks.
“I said, hoo, driving one of those trucks has got to be easier than doing this!” Every day, Denise asked the person in charge to let her drive one of the trucks. After six weeks, she got a tap on the shoulder: “You still want to drive?”
“I said, ‘I sure do!’” laughs Denise.
Denise has been driving ever since. Now she drives for Walmart, and after 15 years has hit 1 million safe miles with the company, out of more than 3 million miles driven in her career.
She is proud to be a driver. She says there are more female truck drivers today than when she started.
Denise appreciates the community Walmart offers its drivers. “They bring us to Bentonville and show us a terrific time,” she says. Even better, in her eyes, they include the drivers in Walmart heart events, in which truck drivers offer rides to handicapped or terminally ill people.
And Denise appreciates her Walmart team. “I know I’ve got a lifeline,” she says, “so I just do what I love to do. Sometimes I’m still amazed that they pay me to do this.”
That lifeline continued even when Denise had a knee replacement in 2016, and in 2018 when she broke both her legs. “I was laid up in a nursing home because I live alone,” she says. “But Walmart worked with me as I built up my strength.”