55. My Abusers At Wackenhut And Pilot Travel Centers

Pilot Employee Abuses Homeless Veteran and Calls PoliceWackenhutThis refers back to story 37. for my long time readers ,Dateline Birmingham . Anyhow, I am at my wits end here about what to do about this. I am open to suggestions. I have been told to seek legal advice from ACLU and other attorneys, go to the media, many have written to the media, we have all written to Pilot, Wackenhut, I had written little letters to the Birmingham Mayors Office and City Council to no response. We have worn out the email boxes of ken.parent@pilottravelcenters.com , kclark@wackenhut.g4s.com , don.graham@pilottravelcenters.com with only Katy Clark from Wackenhut responded to me saying she would try to get in touch with their Birmingham office. Ken Parent, only told us we were valuable customers and keep coming back (even after what I went through), Don Graham never responded. Ralph Miller the Wackenhut Guard that does not know (I guess he does now) where his property line is, is I guess still getting to carry a gun around for intimidation purposes and maybe get a kick back from pimps, Mr. Panchoos probably still has his rewarding career as a truck stop manager (according to the Pilot Corp. Website) while no one addresses the issue of what they have done to a Veteran.

It amazes me, if they ignore this one issue, how many issues they commit that they feel they can ignore. If they ignore your requests for answers, how many requests for answers and action do they ignore in a day, week, month, and year. A reader of mine “JL” sent me a letter and here is an excerpt that at the time I did not publish because I was modest, but I am sort of losing modesty:

Your trials as a homeless veteran are noteworthy and deserving of wider attention. Focus is deserved on the global issue of veteran homelessness, the reactions (or lack thereof) of law enforcement and the general public, and on you as its visible advocate.Regarding your unfortunate incident on 10/7/07, the kind receptionist at The Wackenhut Corporation (2100 Riverchase Center, Suite 220, Birmingham, AL 35244 (205) 988-9090) shared the full name of the security guard as Ralph Miller. She referred the 10/7/07 matter involving Ralph Miller up the chain of command to Captains Baker and Sparks, Jack Connor and Joe Joyner. She confirmed the manager of the Pilot Travel Center in Birmingham as Mr. Panchoo. Mr. Panchoo deemed himself uninvolved in the 10/7/07 incident at his Pilot location. The corporate secretary “Sharon” at Pilot Travel Centers LLC (5508 Lonas Drive, Knoxville TN 37909 (800) 562-6210) pointed to Don Graham as Pilot’s head of security. She issued an email address of don.graham@pilottravelcenters.com, but said that he is on the road and that she cannot guarantee his responsiveness. “Sharon” blatantly refused to issue a contact telephone number for Don Graham.

At the time I did not feel that anything I have written was noteworthy. I am one in hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans. Hundreds of thousands are worse off than me. I believe I am fortunate that I can still express my thoughts coherently. There are times I want to curl up and cry. There are times I want my family. I still have my pride and as I have my ups and downs I do get mad at what I see out here in life. My values are heightened. My appreciations and expectations of the world are greater. I remember ten years ago I gave some homeless a ride one Christmas day to dinner at a Golden Corral and felt so proud of myself for doing something. I told my friends about it for years. I realize now I did nothing. I did at the time one thing in 32 years! WOW. To my friends and new readers, I am looking for advice or action. I am a veteran with a laptop, journal and a backpack. Who writes what he sees and experiences. And honestly I see and experience more with all three that I ever did with a home, cars and a business. I see and experience more kindness and harshness in everyday life and value their degrees more than I would have if I had all of my old life back in return. Your letters are valuable and so is your feedback even if it is harsh. It gives me grounding. Odd though, I have not received one single bit of negative feed back. I am not doing it all right I know.

Anyway, maybe I am over reacting. I am wanting some feed back. I know I have some readership ,I guess. Should I drop this, quit thinking about it? Move on? Should I just take the kick in the groin for what it is and say “OK you Win”.

Your Friend,


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10 Responses to “55. My Abusers At Wackenhut And Pilot Travel Centers”

  1. 1 AnAmerican
    October 30, 2007 at 5:43 am

    Compassion and generosity to others is not a luxury item..it is a necessity in this world that must encompass all. I suport your efforts in bringing this most disturbing event to the powers who have some abiity to make a change. More importantly, when we accept this type of behavior by doing nothing we allow the path to be open for more of the same to another person.
    Thank you for your unique revelations and your obvious hope for bringing a voice to so many of the homeless veterans who aren’t as coherent or astute as yourself. Your voice is needed & appreciated.

  2. October 30, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    If you go here:
    you can find their Vision statement which says they are “people oriented” and “has a history of corporate citizenship and feels strongly that it is important to serve the community philanthropically in time and resources.”

    Also you will find their Evironment statement in which their people “Do the Right Thing all the time! ”

    and a brief “success story” about Don Graham.

    It seems their particular store considers mistreatment of homeless heroes as “doing the right thing” and serving the community is not serving those who served our country that happen to be having a rough time.


  3. October 30, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Also if you go here:
    you will find statement by Graham about some tragic deaths in their parking lots and how they patrol them.

  4. October 30, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Oh they had security there but he never left the store there to check the lot at all. The only time this guard checked the lot was after watching me buy a diet pepsi. Then he checked the truckers to see if I had talked to them after he had warned me off. Oh Don Graham really exists? I thought he was just a made up email address, wonder why he does not reply to our emails. For as much as this Pilot patrolled its parking lot all of those drivers could have been dead, but a few were having sex with prostitutes so I know some of them were alive.

  5. October 30, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    This may not be suitable for publishing but here is an article on a pilot truck stop, Dallas Tx I think, on whores caught at Pilot. I thought you might like it. Quality of their whores is pretty poor, even for truckers.


    It is entertaining.


  6. October 30, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    That was so sad I Hope Mr. Graham Read That. I forwarded that to him.

  7. October 31, 2007 at 2:17 am

    I did a few simple searches and came to the conclusion that
    maybe you need to stay out of the Pilot Truck Stops altogether – at least in Tenn.!

    Media Release by Nashville Metro Police:

    The man fatally wounded at 2:30 a.m. today outside the Pilot Truck Stop at 130 West Trinity Lane is identified as Tim Alumbaugh, 28, of Old Russellville Pike in Clarksville.

    Alumbaugh was shot following a prolonged confrontation with the truck stop’s security guard, Robert Mangrum, 23, of Madison.

    Trucker charged with killing Nashville man with a hammer

    He was found traveling through Illinois, police said. McCoy told investigators that he hit Davis in the head with a hammer while parked at the Pilot Truck Stop in Nashville at 130 W. Trinity Lane, police said.

    Bodies found at truck stops could be linked to 2005 case

    The body of one was found at a Travel Centers of America truck stop in Nashville Tuesday morning. The other woman’s body was found stuffed in a trash can at a Pilot truck stop in Lebanon, TN, on June 6.


    Mendenhall, 56, of Albion, IL, was charged with criminal homicide Thursday after police said he “implicated himself” in the death of 25-year-old Sara Nicole Hulbert.

    Winters – who The Tennessean newspaper reported had been arrested multiple times on drug and prostitution charges – was found shot and in a trash container at the Pilot Truck Stop in Lebanon, TN.


    Then there are the trucker forums:


    (Where trubotrucker has bad experiences at same stop you did and specifically mentions security:)

    “Worst truck stop you have been to ”

    There are two that come to mind…

    Drums, PA Pilot, wow this place is a real [crappy place]. Oh, and of course how can I forget the Birmingham, AL Pilot. This has to be the worst. Filled up their on my way down to JAckson AL, got approached by some guy who wanted to sell me some gold chains, was walking around bothering everyone at the pumps. Then I stopped their again on my way back north to WI. Guess what, approached by another guy trying to sell a laptop, “Hey you wanna buy a vaio, still in the box brand new, 300 bucks. come on man help a brother out”. I said no thanks leave me alone. And both times I was in Birmingham their was a cop standing inside. Let alone it took almost a half hour just to get close to the pumps.


    Re: Worst truck stop you have been to

    hands down every pilot ts in north america these are the 7/11’s of truck stops


    OK Wanderingvet, I’ve done my duty on this subject. Good luck.

    Grace and Peace,

  8. October 31, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    I will have to say that the Truck Drivers I have ridden with have been very courteous, and mainly God Loving people. I have a respect and have been shown friendship by many of the OTR drivers and owe many thanks.

    Though your points are duly noted and I do keep a wary eye on things going on about these places. I have seen some awful creepy things also occur around truck stops. One must ever be vigilant.

  9. 9 Jim
    November 5, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    I drove truck otr for a few years. Security? they have that? I know i seen them in the restaurant, or bathroom but never patroling the lot. One reason i quit parking overnight at truckstops is because of the constant knocking on the window by lot lizards(prostitutes). Homelessvet, ive been exactly where your at at this moment, homeless and on the road, i can share and relate exactly your plight. Truckstops DO NOT LIKE hikers. Unless of course you have 20 or 30 dollars to drop than its hit the road.

  10. January 4, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Although you posted this awhile ago, I would just say that Wackenhut is deplorable. They were ruffing up female workers at a Museum where I volunteer, and when I protested one of their supervisors actually tried to drag me into a private office belonging to them. Fortuneately, my coat wasn’t zipped and I escaped. But even though I formally protested, nothing was ever done about that supervisor, the guards who were harrassing me, and Wackenhut never apologized. I wish your chances were better, but alas I think they are not… at least in seeing any change in the company itself by it’s own motivation.

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