Peace Comes First

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Home Depot Changes Veterans Discount Policy

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2009-04-12_The_Home_Depot_in_KnightdaleHome Depot giveth and taketh away.

My husband is an Army veteran, and I was a member of the Volunteer Corps, lovingly donated over 200 hours to help our soldiers. We were very grateful for Home Depot’s 10% discount offered to veterans and their families. It’s something I wish more American businesses would offer to help veterans feel appreciated for their service. Because of the military discount, we chose Home Depot over other stores for our shopping.

But this will be no more.

My husband was told tonight by a Home Depot employee that soon the military discount they offer will only be offered to disabled veterans. With further investigation, I’ve learned that my husband and I will only be offered the military discount on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day weekends. If you are Active, Reserve, Retired, or a Disabled Veteran with a valid ID you can get the discount any day of the week.

Doesn’t this seem like a ridiculous business move? Offering a veterans benefit for years and then suddenly changing policy to deny a percentage of veterans who didn’t serve for twenty years or med board out? I worked with wounded soldiers in the Army, and I’ll tell you receiving medical disability isn’t an easy feat. I worked with many soldiers who were fighting hard to be awarded disability, and weren’t, even though they had a valid medical issue. The military has it’s own way of doing things. So the veteran who wasn’t awarded disability for say, PTSD, isn’t entitled to the Home Depot discount because his or her injury isn’t worthy? And what about the veterans that have a hard time finding work after their service (only 25% of veterans have a Bachelor’s Degree) and could really be helped by whatever discount is available for their living supplies, are they not worthy, either?

Was that general military discount really hurting Home Depot’s business that much that they had to pull it back? Maybe Home Depot can’t afford to offer as many breaks anymore to the 7% of Americans who have served in the military, that’s millions of people. Just a side note, the Home Depot CEO earns $1.3 million dollars a year. If he was paid less of a salary, maybe they could afford to maintain their open policy on veteran discounts. It would take a real humanitarian to give up that kind of wage to help their fellow man, especially today when materialism is so highly valued as a sign of success. Crazy to think there’s a whole generation who will never know there was once a local mom and pop hardware store whose owners earned just enough to support their simple middle class life, and probably offered a deal to their local veteran who they also knew as their neighbor.

While I’m bummed about this Home Depot news, here’s the positive: Lowe’s and Ace Hardware continue to offer every veteran discounts, 365 days a year. And here’s some more good news. Old Navy offers discounts to all veterans, every Monday. Apple also appreciates veterans, and so do some of these veteran-friendly businesses.

Positive Thought of the Day: There is always something to be grateful for.


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