From the time he was four years old, Joe Dezotell knew he wanted to grow up to become a soldier and serve his country.

Now, the retired U.S. Army veteran helps military families navigate the challenges of military moves as a Rental Support Coordinator with Penske Truck Rental's specialized Military Call Center.


Created in 2014, the call center is staffed by associates who understand the challenges of military moves, which helps them to reduce the stress for military families.

"It is a specialized team of Penske associates who all have a direct connection to the military from either their own service or a direct family member's service," Dezotell said. "You have someone who understands your needs and can help relate to you better to make sure this goes as flawlessly as possible."

Thousands of military families move each year either through a government-arranged move, where a contractor packs and ships their items, or through a Personal Procured Move (PPM) – formerly known as a DITY or do-it-yourself move.

For families choosing a PPM move – where the customer arranges to rent a truck to move their items – Penske's Military Call Center team can help.

"Our associates understand the special needs that go with a military move as far as how to weigh the vehicle, load it and unload it, and the need to save all of their receipts for their reimbursements from the government," Dezotell said. "Whether it is someone doing their first PPM move or their eighth or ninth one, we are there to guide them."

That guidance includes helping military families through the emotions of saying goodbye to family and friends and heading to a new destination with unfamiliar surroundings. "You have to understand the emotions that go along with that. It can be unsettling for the family," Dezotell said.

A military move – just like other household moves – provides key family time that can be used for activities, including sightseeing along the journey.

"We always tried to make it an adventure as we moved," Dezotell said. "We'd try to see something we would normally not have the opportunity to see."

Once arriving at the destination, military families – especially arriving on military installations – should prepare to receive a warm welcome and many helping hands.

"The loading and unloading tends to be easier for military members, especially if they are on base. Every time we moved on base, even though the neighbors didn't know who we were, we backed that truck up and everybody would come out and help," Dezotell said.

Penske is a proud supporter of the military, both active duty, reserves and veterans.

Penske Truck Rental, a division of Penske Truck Leasing, joined with Paralyzed Veterans eight years ago to create the #OneWay4PVA campaign, which encourages rental customers to donate $1 to Paralyzed Veterans Mission: ABLE campaign.

Penske associates regularly volunteer for organizations that support and honor our troops and veterans, like the Paul R. Gordon Veteran Social Center of Berks County in Reading, Pennsylvania.

In addition, Penske offers discounts on truck rentals for active military members and veterans when reserving one-way truck rentals online.

If you are in the military and need assistance with a move, call Penske's Military Call Center at 1-844-4TROOPS (1-844-487-6677).

By Bernie Mixon