In honor of Memorial Day, the Sears Holdings Associate Military Support Network (AMSN) and SHC associates paid tribute by participating in the National Moment of Remembrance at an event on Wednesday, May 25 held at our corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The group also celebrated National Military Appreciation Month, which takes place during the month of May, by recognizing the contributions and history of our armed services and the men and women who have served or are currently serving.
Immediately following the Wreath Laying ceremony, the AMSN hosted a luncheon and an award ceremony for our guests. During the event, managers from Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc., (which leases space at SHC’s offices) and the SHC Integrated Member Experience team (iMX) received awards from the United States Department of Defense and the Employer Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR).
The Above and Beyond Award, presented by the ESGR state committees, recognizes employers at the local level who have gone above and beyond their legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act by providing their guard and reserve employees additional, non-mandated benefits such as differential or full pay to offset lost wages, extended health benefits and other similar benefits.
“Sears Hometown and Outlet was very supportive of my recent military leave of absence,” said James Grieco, Director of Buying, SHO, who is a commander in the US Navy Reserve. “I am part of a team that supports the inventory management and merchandising of Sears Outlet stores. In my absence, all the members of the team, including my supervisor Marty Burks, DVP, outlet inventory, took on additional responsibilities and workload. “Words cannot describe how appreciative I am that my team works together to fill in during my absence.” James also noted his appreciation that SHC allowed him to focus on his training to transition to the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and not worry about his civilian job.
The second award, Extraordinary Employer Support Award, was created by the ESGR to recognize sustained employer support of the National Guard and reserve service. Infantry First Lieutenant Zachary Hubbard, visual designer, iMX, mentioned that his manager Michelle Hierzer, associate creative director, iMX, continually supports his efforts and works hard to make sure his work is covered while he is gone. “Zach is a dedicated employee and a patriot. I am proud to have him on my team and we are proud to support his service,” said Michelle.
Sears Holdings has encouraged and supported employees serving in the armed forces for decades and has been recognized a number of times for this support. In 2005, Sears Holdings received the National Department of Defense Freedom Award. Only prior recipients of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award or the Pro-Patria Award who have demonstrated sustained support for three years after receiving one of those awards are eligible for consideration at the committee level. Subsequent awards can be given in three-year increments from the initial award. SHC continues all company benefits and pay while military members are gone on active duty.
Today, SHC employs more than 25,000 veterans and more than 1,200 active members of the Reserve and National Guard. Thank you to every one of our associates who serve, and to all military people and families who serve our country each and every day.
Below are some additional pictures from the event: