To many people, red is just a color. But to the employees of Lowe’s of Dubuque, Iowa, red represents so much more.
Several years ago, Lowe’s employee Don Stark began wearing a red shirt to work every Friday as a way to support Remember Everyone Deployed (RED). RED is a national organization and mission that encourages people to wear red on Fridays to show support for U.S. troops who are deployed.
“I wear red because we have soldiers deployed everywhere around the world including my daughter,” Stark said. “She’s currently deployed in Kuwait and we miss her.”
It didn’t take long for other employees in the store to catch on to “Red Fridays”. Many of them also have their own personal connections to the military.
“I wear red because my grandson was injured in Afghanistan and is now a paraplegic.” – Donna Johnson, Lowe’s associate.
“I wear red because I come from a military family. Being a vet myself, I know how it is to be away from family.” – Kevin Melancon, Lowe’s associate and U.S. Army veteran.
Slowly, participation grew until the effort took over the entire store. The store manager, Mike Bryson, even purchased matching red t-shirts for all of his employees using his personal money.
Now, nearly every one of the 170 employees of Lowe’s of Dubuque, Iowa wears a red t-shirt on Fridays to Remember Everyone Deployed.