The Carolina Panthers hosted a series of community events leading up to the team’s Monday night game on November 13. Lowe’s, which has a long history of honoring servicemen and women, sponsored events and the home game.
Darryle Hodges and Kevin Stredney from Lowe’s joined the team’s visit to Fort Jackson, where they spent time with soldiers. Stredney, a store manager in Simpsonville, South Carolina, is retired from the military and went to basic training at Fort Jackson.
“As a veteran, it was an even more special experience as I know what those soldiers are going through,” Stredney said. “To be able to say thanks with the Panthers in their environment truly had a positive impact.”
The Panthers also honored men and women who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Each player wore the initials of a fallen serviceman or woman on their helmet during the Monday night game. During a practice the day before, family members met the players representing their loved one. There were smiles, tears, stories and pictures.
Coach Rivera spoke to families and offered them an opportunity to ask questions. A 6-year-old boy asked if he could throw a football with Cam Newton. A short while later, cheers erupted on the practice field – he had caught a touchdown pass from the team’s quarterback.
On game day, Lowe’s employee Bob Adams sat in the Panthers’ Row of Honor. The 93-year-old World War II Navy veteran says the real heroes never made it home.
Lowe’s has more than 10,000 employees who are U.S. military veterans or active duty. There are nearly 875 Lowe’s employees currently deployed. This year, the company announced an enhanced military discount – offering 10 percent off every day to all active duty and veteran customers.