News: Lowe's Home Improvement signs Statement of Support for Guard and Reserve
Story by Capt. Matthew Boyle
MOORESVILLE, N.C. - One of North Carolina’s most successful businesses, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., continued their commitment to the men and women who serve in the National Guard or the Reserve by signing an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement of Support, at their corporate headquarters, here today.
Senior North Carolina National Guard leaders, many with years of wartime duty, gathered behind Bob Ihrie, Lowe’s senior vice-president Compensation and Benefits, before the signing ceremony. With a stroke of the pen, he pledged on paper to what Lowe’s has done in practice to recognize and support our country's service members and their families in peace, in crisis, and in war.
The Department of Defense’s principal deputy of Family and Employer Programs and Polices, Alex Baird said, “Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve performs over 55 thousand statements of support each year, but this one is special.
"We have been looking forward to this event because of the continued commitment to ESGR that Lowes has demonstrated for so many years.”
Two Lowe’s employees who are North Carolina National Guard officers, Army Lt. Col. Dana Tucker and Army Maj. Kimberly Graham, thanked their employer for supporting them during multiple deployments and numerous state active duty missions.
“While working towards my master’s degree, I was an intern here,” said Tucker. “Lowe’s stood by me during the deployment and gave me an offer upon my return.”
Graham shared how her boss helped her when she was called to active duty.
“I received a short notice for deployment and my supervisor told me not to worry and asked what Lowe’s needed to do to get me ready.”
Graham served her state and nation and after demobilization came home to a different job and received the same support from the company.
“When I returned from deployment, after nearly two years, Lowe’s had undergone a major re-organization. Lowe’s once again stepped up and asked me how to use my military experience to further my own development for the company.”
The Adjutant General of North Carolina, Army Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, praised Lowes, “I know the sacrifice that companies make to do this and other employees have to step up to make up for the deployed service member.
“That sacrifice makes all of you at Lowe’s part of team USA.”
Applause and handshakes followed the signing as the leaders, military and corporate, posed for photos and shared stories.
“I am humbled by the experience of working with veterans and those currently serving. Over 14 thousand Lowes employees are either veterans or still serving today,” said Ihrie.
“On behalf of the 250,000 employees here at Lowe’s, we thank you for your service.”
Ihire went on to say, “I believe in the value of serving this country, our communities and our customers.”
The ESGR Statement of Support is designed to increase employer support by encouraging them to act as advocates for employee participation in the Guard and Reserve. The Guard and Reserve makes up nearly half of the nation's total available military manpower.
ESGR is a Department of Defense (DoD) organization within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. It was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment.