Ralph J. Fries purchased his first truck, a 1970 Freightliner 3ax-81″ COE-318 Detroit engine, on December 26, 1976, after an impressive career in the United States Navy. (He retired from active duty on June 1, 1977).
He and his wife, Harlean Laurel, have two sons, Gary and Glen. Gary and his wife, Peggy, have a daughter, Marissa; Glen and his wife, Leslie, have two daughters, Ella and Eva, and a son, Bennett.
Ralph is coordinator of the construction of a new Navy memorial at the Council International Du Sport Militare Field on the Coronado Amphibious Base. He began research on the project in September 1993, and was recently appointed to the board of directors of the memorial monument, which is expected to be finished and dedicated in 2003.
Ralph is associated with several veteran organizations, including The Retired Officers Association, Fleet Reserve Association, and Seabee Association, to name a few.
He joined OOIDA in 1979 and became a board member in 1990. Ralph retired from active trucking in August 1993, but continues to serve on the OOIDA board as well as on the advisory committees of the California DOT, the California DMV, and The California Highway Patrol.