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Lowe’s honors veterans with new store vests

Veteran associates sporting new, custom camouflage vests.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Not all Lowe’s associates are continuing to wear the company’s traditional red vest.

The home improvement retailer has rolled out a specially-made, custom designed Lowe’s camouflage vest to honor veterans.

According to Joe McFarland – Lowe’s executive vice president of stores and a U.S. veteran – the company wanted to make sure that it extends recognition to all service members including its own veteran associates. Lowe’s continues to offer a 10% discount to military customers, including veterans and active service members, through its Military Recognition Program.

Lowe’s military associates can choose which vest to wear: camo or the traditional red vest. The new camo design began rolling out to associates in early 2019.

One of the first to receive a new vest was Stephen Estes, who works as a plumbing specialist in the Lowe’s of South Arlington in Texas. Estes served as an Air Force Crew Chief in the early 1980s. When talking about his time in the service, Estes was quick to redirect any praise.

“Personally, I didn’t do it for recognition,” Estes said. “I did it for the country when I was a young man.”

Estes said wearing his new camo vest has sparked so many new conversations with customers. When they find out he is a veteran, he says they always say “Thank you.”

“I’ve received more recognition when wearing this vest than I ever have when I first became a civilian,” he said. “And it’s honest, it’s real, it’s heartfelt.”

Including Estes, there are 16 military associates working in the Lowe’s of South Arlington. Jonathan Batten, the store manager there, added that all 16 of them are some of the humblest people he knows and he’s proud Lowe’s is recognizing them this way.

“It gives them the recognition they deserve for the dedication and the sacrifices they made,” Batten said.

More than 14,000 military, veterans and military spouses currently work throughout the company.

 

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