Lowe’s was founded by a couple of World War II veterans as the nation faced a housing crisis in 1946. Jim Lowe and Carl Buchan took the lessons they learned as instructors in the military and applied them to the emerging post-war home building industry.
As the business grew, they hired more veterans, people who were experts in everything from law to logistics, and built the foundation for what is now Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 company with more than 285,000 employees and more than $59 billion in sales.
Today that tradition of finding talent and dedicated employees from the ranks of the armed services community continues. Lowe’s employs more than 13,000 veterans and members of the Guard and Reserve, leveraging the leadership, experience and expertise they gained from serving our nation.
Because of the company’s support for the military community, specifically National Guardsmen and reservists, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded Lowe’s the 2016 Freedom Award. The award is the highest recognition the U.S. government gives employers for their support of employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
Lowe’s was among 15 companies that received the award during ceremonies at the Pentagon. Employees serving in the Guard and Reserve can nominate their company for the award. In 2016, 2,424 companies were nominated for the award. A national selection board comprised of senior Department of Defense officials, business leaders and prior Freedom Award recipients screened the nominations and selected this year’s award recipients.
We are all focused on our mission at hand, knowing that our families back home are still able to receive medical, dental and vision care from Lowe’s and we can receive differential pay while we are away.—Lt. David Nelson, U.S. Navy Reserves and Lowe’s employee
Lt. David Nelson, U.S. Navy Reserves, nominated Lowe’s. “We are all focused on our mission at hand, knowing that our families back home are still able to receive medical, dental and vision care from Lowe’s and we can receive differential pay while we are away,” Nelson wrote in his nomination. “Most importantly, when we return, Lowe’s treats us as if we never left. This gives me and my family peace of mind and shows me that Lowe’s cares and truly supports us.”
Since joining Lowe’s in 1999, he’s been deployed to active duty twice, first to the Middle East for five years in 2000 during the invasion of Iraq, and most recently for a year to Bahrain, where he was on a base guarded by North Carolina National Guardsmen, two of whom were also Lowe’s employees. Currently, about 140 Lowe’s employees are deployed to active duty.