02 April 2012
Tech, carpenter ... and soldier
Our duty to our Guardsmen and Reservists

Nigel Andre of Whitehall is a carpenter and technician for ABE Doors and Windows. If he's ever working on an installation at your house, you'll notice him primarily as a hardworking member of our skilled and dedicated team.

But there's another side to Nigel. Wherever he goes, day in or day out, he's also a staff sergeant in the Army National Guard. Our company salutes his service, which now stands at twelve-and-a-half years between active duty and time with the Guard at home. And we're also proud that ABE Doors and Windows does everthing possible to help him meet his military responsibilities.

There was a time when soldiers might remain in the Guard or Reserves for years without being called to active service. In recent years, though, these components have been tasked with a more active role in national defense. "There's times when I have to go at the last minute," Nigel said. "And the company's always been great about it."

Under federal law, employers must keep jobs open for soldiers called to service. It's possible, unfortunately, to obey the letter of the law and violate its spirit. Some employers look for unfair ways to dismiss an absent soldier. Nigel has had to take action for soldiers under his command when other employers tried to cut them loose while on duty.

That hasn't happened with ABE Doors and Windows and it never will. "I'm just very appreciative," Nigel said. "The company has been very supportive, very understanding."

Our company has been recognized by the Army National Guard for this support. We appreciate that, but from our standpoint what really counts is the willingness of our people to stand up for our country. Helping them out when deployments come up is the least we can do.