Staff honored for support of soldiers

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

A Lewisburg chain-store manager and her staff were honored late last month by an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense that promotes a culture in which American employers support the nation's military personnel and their families.

Nickie Morris, manager of the Dollar Tree store, 1354 North Ellington Parkway, accepted a framed certificate on behalf of the chain store -- headquartered at Chesapeake, Va. -- and her staff from Joe Ward Mayberry, a Tennessee committee member of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

Morris and her staff received the Seven Seals Award, so named because it

displays the seven seals of reserve components of the U.S. military, Mayberry and the ESGR said. The Dollar Tree employees were honored for "assisting with the collection of Christmas toys and school supplies for children of military personnel residing in the area," ESGR said in a prepared statement.

Operation Homefront is what Morris called the program conducted in the store near Chinese and chicken restaurants. Her father, Kenny Green of Lewisburg, is a veteran, she said. Officials at the store's Virginia-based headquarters instructed Morris and the staff here about what they could do, she said. Operation Homefront provides an opportunity for consumers to make donations of Christmas toys and school supplies.

"I hauled off two big truck-loads of Christmas toys and we were able to help a lot of children in the area," Mayberry said. "This store exceeded the general level of participation of the other stores in the area."

Mayberry has an ESGR office in Centerville. He's also a BPSI family assistance specialist working from an office at the National Guard Armory in Columbia, Tenn.

BPSI manages the Family Assistance Center programs for the National Guard Bureau in the states of Maryland, Florida, Utah and Tennessee.

"Supportive employers, organizations and individuals are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's National Guard and Reserve," ESGR Tennessee Chairman Carl Lambert said when Dollar Tree staffers were honored on Jan. 27 at the store. Recipients of the Seven Seals Award are recognized by the ESGR as those "who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation's call to serve."