Meijer Store Director Jeremiah Hernandez served in the U.S. Army/Army Reserve for 10 years and was deployed to Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.
One of the biggest things he misses about his military service is the camaraderie, a sort of instant kinship and common ground. However, he has found that same connection with mVets, one of the Meijer Team Member Resource Groups (TMRGs). In fact, Jeremiah is one of the group’s leaders and also holds a position on the mVets advisory board.
“mVets really gives you that sense you are a member of an organization where fellow veterans have served,” said Jeremiah, who oversees the Lansing Meijer on West Saginaw Hwy. “We’re all brothers and sisters in arms to a certain degree even after you get out.”
Members of mVets continue to work together to support each other and other veterans. Most recently, they collaborated to award their Meijer Team Gives donations to two organizations making a difference in veterans’ lives: Dayton VA Fisher House in Dayton, Ohio, and the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight in Menomonee Falls, Wis.
The Dayton VA Fisher House provides temporary lodging to the family members and caregivers of Servicemembers and Veterans who are hospitalized or are receiving extended, episodic outpatient treatment at the Dayton VA Medical Center or in conjunction with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is part of the Honor Flight Network, a nonprofit created to honor America’s veterans for their sacrifices. The organization transports veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam, as well as terminally ill veterans from other wars, to Washington, D.C., at no cost to visit and reflect at the memorials that stand in their honor. Airfare, meals, deluxe tour buses, T-shirts and other items are provided to the attending veterans.
“It’s really cool to see all the engagement from all across the entire footprint. We do so many things for veterans,” Jeremiah added. “Some of my favorite days at Meijer are when we go to these organizations and learn about them, what their mission is, and just see the impact they make in our community. They are grateful that Meijer is supporting not just their organization but supporting veterans in general.”
In choosing their organizations, Jeremiah created a survey that was shared with more than 3,000 mVets Meijer team members about the nominated veterans’ groups being considered for this round of Meijer Team Gives donations.
“I’m most happy about supporting organizations within the total footprint of Meijer, and that’s a huge victory for us because we want to make sure that we’re supporting as many organizations as we can,” Jeremiah said.
Meijer team members don’t need to be a military veteran to be part of the group.
“There are certain things that we all think alike about, and it’s nice to have a support group and resources if I ever need to talk about something. I know who to reach out to. The engagement and support of veterans were really the driving factors for me to join mVets,” Jeremiah said.
As a recognized gold-level Veteran-Friendly Employer, we’re pleased to partner with organizations like the Fisher House Foundation and Stars and Stripes Honor Flight to not only honor veterans but to also celebrate our own team members who served.