Category Archives: Veterans

Military Service Spotlight: Mark Taylor

At L&P, we are honored to work alongside many colleagues who have served in the military. Their dedication and service ensure we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. This month, we are spotlighting some of our amazing colleagues who are military service members and veterans.

We’d like you to meet Mark Taylor! Mark has been with us for a year and is a Senior Global Network Manager. His team is responsible for ensuring that cables, circuits, and permissions allow for secure and reliable network access to the applications that help L&P make products and move them around.

Mark served in the United States Army for 30 years, serving full time for 17 years and 13 years in the National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve. “My motivation has always been a desire to serve my country, support our constitution, and simply do my best,” said Mark.

Mark enlisted as a private, MOS 92B – medical lab specialist and attended Basic Training at Ft. Bliss in Texas. After deciding he liked the Army, he completed ROTC at Oregon State University and was commissioned in the Infantry in June of 1991. He served in Fort Benning, Georgia, for two years. While working at Hewlett Packard, Mark served as a cavalry officer before moving to Colorado to become a full-time field artillery officer in the Army National Guard. He later transferred to the Idaho Army National Guard and left in 2016 for the reserves. In 2018, Mark retired as a lieutenant colonel.

In 2008, Mark was deployed to Afghanistan. While there, he focused on Embedded Tactical Training and worked with an Afghan infantry unit. He later worked with the ANCOP (Afghanistan National Civil Order Police).
In 2010 and 2011, Mark deployed to Iraq as a FOB (Forward Operating Base) mayor. He ran FOB Camp West Liberty, which provided Live Support Activities for up to 11,000 soldiers and civilians. 

When asked to reflect on military values that he applies at L&P, Mark shared, “People make the whole thing work. I learned the importance of respecting each person’s knowledge and abilities and having a willingness to listen and adapt. We are better together.”

We are very grateful to Mark and all who have served!

Military Service Spotlight: Chelsey Abbott

At L&P, we are honored to work alongside many colleagues who have served in the military. Their dedication and service ensure we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. This month, we want to spotlight some of our amazing colleagues who are military service members and veterans.

We’d like you to meet Chelsey Abbott! Chelsey has worked at Hanes in Conover, NC, for three years and is currently a shipping coordinator. Chelsey provides our customers with the pallet counts and dimensions of their material. In return, they provide L&P with the carrier of their choice.

Chelsey served in the Army for four years. Over that time, she lived in three states – Missouri, Virginia, and Washington. In Washington, Chelsey was stationed at joint base, Lewis-McChord, where she served as a 91S Styker Mechanic for the 4-23 Infantry Battalion.

Chelsey with her oldest son, Jaggar.

“I joined the Army because I knew I wanted to do something other than school. I also wanted to explore the world,” said Chelsey. “The Army taught me a lot about myself. Basic training is where I pushed myself mentally and physically to be at the top of my platoon.”

Chelsey’s taken the lessons and values she learned during her service and applied them to her career at L&P.

“I learned the importance of teamwork and the ability to work with all kinds of people. I also learned to prioritize tasks to maximize the team’s efficiency and achieve our goals.”

We are very grateful to Chelsey and all who have served!

Military Service Spotlight: Deran Boman

At L&P, we are honored to work alongside many colleagues who have served in the military. Their dedication and service ensure we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. This month, we want to spotlight some of our amazing colleagues who are military service members and veterans.

First up, we’d like you to meet Deran Boman! Deran has been with us for 12 years and is currently a maintenance technician at our corporate headquarters. His main responsibilities include plumbing, electrical work, locksmithing, record keeping, and repairing doors and windows.

Deran is a sergeant and is serving his sixth year in the United States Army National Guard. In 2020, he was part of a Special Enforcement Detail (SED) riot control readiness in response to the wave of civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd. He also served as a security detail at GTMO (Guantanamo Bay).

“I wanted to become a part of something bigger that lets me serve this great country in a way that makes an impact,” said Deran. “The main values I developed in the military and apply to L&P are loyalty, integrity, and leadership.”

We are very grateful to Deran and all who have served!

ECS Team Honored for Supporting Military Service Employees

Please join us in congratulating our Elite Comfort Solutions (ECS) Corporate Chemicals Supply Chain team for receiving the Above and Beyond Award at the 2023 Mississippi Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (MSESGR) Employer Awards Banquet!

The MSESGR is an office within the U.S. Department of Defense that works to foster support for the U.S. National Guard and Reserve among employers and recognizes outstanding employer support through awards like the Above and Beyond Award. According to the ESGR, this award is given to employers “who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act by providing their Guard and Reserve employees additional, non-mandated benefits. . .” and “who have had at least one of their supervisors/managers recognized with a Patriot Award, and who have signed or agree to sign an ESGR Statement of Support.”

Danny Caldwell, Supply Chain Supervisor/Chemicals, and Brandon Caldwell, Logistics Analyst, accepted the award on behalf of ECS.

From left to right: Major General Janson Boyles (Adjutant General of Mississippi), Brandon Caldwell, Danny Caldwell, and Margaret Burns (MSESGR Chairperson)

Brandon, who serves as a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army, nominated ECS for the award because he was inspired by the leadership and patriotism of Mia Rush, Supply Chain Manager, and Danny Caldwell, who’s also his dad. In 2022, Brandon nominated both Danny and Mia for ESGR’s Patriot Award, which they both received individually. Now, ECS is in the running to receive national recognition for their dedication to and support of the U.S. Guard and Reserve.

Three generations of Caldwells pictured from left to right: Cal (Brandon’s son), Danny, and Brandon

“Both Danny and Mia represent ECS with pride, patriotism, and duty to country as non-servicemembers,” says Brandon. “Their personnel and leadership skills place them as champions in my book. I think that the national ESGR may agree.”

Brandon has been serving in the U.S. Army for almost 20 years and holds four military occupational specialties: Aviation Operations Specialist, Logistics Manager, Helicopter Crew Chief, and his current specialty as a Cavalry Scout. Within the next month or two, he will be deployed to the Middle East, and he doesn’t expect to return to ECS until next spring. Mia and Danny want Brandon to know that he has their full support:

Mia Rush

“As leaders, Danny and I work very hard to support our team whenever they have personal events,” says Mia. “With Brandon’s upcoming deployment, we’ve created a plan that includes our whole team and keeps us running so that he can focus on his upcoming and bigger job. We want him to know that we will continue to support him and pray for his safe return.”

We’re full of gratitude to Brandon for his service and to Danny and Mia for putting people first!

Honoring Our Military Veterans: Meet Josh Horton

November 11 is Veterans Day in the United States, which honors all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Our military veterans have served everywhere—on land, air, sea, and even space. Their dedication and service ensure we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. For Veterans Day, we want to spotlight some of our amazing employees who are U.S. veterans.

Josh Horton

Meet Josh Horton

Josh has been with L&P for nine years and is currently our Company Credit Card and Expense Administrator.

Serving in the U.S. Army

Josh served in the 1011th Quartermaster Company for eight years. While in the Army, he was involved in many missions, including Operation Nuevos Horizontes in Flores, Guatemala, and supporting military operations against hostile forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom at the LSA Anaconda (support base) in Balad, Iraq:

“Our core mission was to support and serve the combat units that we were stationed with. I enjoyed helping others—from the Marines who built schools in impoverished countries to providing logistics to our forces stateside.

Serving others while far away from your loved ones is tough, but I am proud of the military and their ability to step up and make that sacrifice.”

Josh in Balad, Iraq

U.S. Army and L&P Values

Values help shape who we are and how we treat one another, and Josh thinks that many Army values can be found at L&P:

“I feel that many of the core values of the Army directly transfer over to our Leggett & Platt values—values such as respect, integrity, and loyalty, to name a few. I like to think that those who served honorably for the military would find this to be an easy transition.”

Thank You, Veterans!

We are very grateful to Josh and all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Your service and dedication are inspiring!

Honoring Our Military Veterans: Meet Robert McKinzie

November 11 is Veterans Day in the United States, which honors all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Our military veterans have served everywhere—on land, air, sea, and even space. Their dedication and service ensure we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. For Veterans Day, we want to spotlight some of our amazing employees who are U.S. veterans.

Robert McKinzie

Meet Robert McKinzie

Robert began working as a contractor for Leggett in 1995, providing training to supervisors and managers at U.S. Spring locations. In May of 1996, he accepted a full-time position at L&P. He is currently the Vice President of EHS, Quality, and Continuous Improvement for Domestic Bedding.

Serving in the U.S. Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserves

Robert served in the Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserves for 23 years, spending six years in active duty and 17 years in the Guard and Reserve. His active duty service took place in Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort Eustis, Virginia; and in Operation Iraqi Freedom from September of 2003 to November of 2004. Robert recalls his favorite time while serving:

“By far, the most gratifying time serving was running a base camp on the border of Iraq and Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom. To me, serving God and our country are two of the most important things we can do.”

Robert in a dining facility at Camp Buehring in Kuwait during Easter of 2004

Leadership Training

For most of Robert’s military career, he held a leadership position. He credits the military with helping him develop the skills to be a leader at Leggett:

The military provided me with invaluable training to work with and lead others—from platoon leader in basic training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) to Officer Candidate School, Company Commander, Brigade Primary Staff Officer, and Battalion Executive Officer—during both peace time and deployment.”

Thank You, Veterans!

We are very grateful to Robert and all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Your service and dedication are inspiring!

Learning Life Lessons as a Military Spouse

Andrea Dold is an Audit Project Supervisor at L&P. She is a busy mom to daughter Sarah, enjoys traveling, and loves to spend as much time outdoors as possible. She is also a military spouse.

Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day in the U.S. – a day when many take time to acknowledge the sacrifices and support provided by spouses of service members.

Andrea has fully committed to supporting her husband, Scott, as he builds his career in the U.S. Air Force. For their family, this has meant relocating every few years as his flight-testing role requires.

Luckily, Andrea has also been able to develop in her career in Internal Audit. She was first drawn to Leggett & Platt in 2010 for the opportunity to travel and work with people across the world.

She has been able to do just that, and she has also learned a few lessons along the way.

What have you learned as a military spouse?

Throughout our marriage, Scott and I have lived in Germany, California, Washington D.C., Oklahoma, and will soon be moving to Las Vegas!

I used to be more reserved around people, but moving every 1-2 years and starting from scratch has taught me to come out of my shell and develop friendships wherever I am.

Admittedly, sometimes it can be hard to make friends as an adult, but I always challenge myself to venture out to new settings and introduce myself. I work to find commonalities in people, and it has been so rewarding.

No matter where you’re living, it’s the people that can make a new place feel like home.

How has L&P supported you throughout your career?

The greatest benefit by far is the ability to retain a career despite moving with my husband’s job. I am incredibly thankful that my team has been supportive and flexible throughout my many moves.

I’ve worked in a lot of different time zones, and my managers have always been accommodating. Quite frankly, L&P has been the most constant thing in our lives during many seasons of change.

Opening Doors for the Military Community at L&P

Summer Steelman had big dreams for her life: She wanted to become a dancer and was even scheduled for several auditions on Broadway. But after the events of September 11, 2001, her plans changed.

“After 9/11, I decided to join the military. I became a Linguist, or a translator, in the Air Force and served for five years,” she explains. She originally planned on serving in the military for her entire career, but an injury prevented her from doing so.

When she was stationed in Hawaii, she met her now-husband, Matthew, who was also serving in the Air Force. Matt continues to serve today, marking 19 years of active duty.

When Summer decided to go back to school, her grandfather encouraged her to find out what she was most passionate about and pursue it as a career. “My grandfather, a WWII veteran, my hero and mentor, gave me the push I needed to search for my path,” she says.

Summer and her grandparents after her graduation from basic training.

After several different career assessments, she decided to get her degree in psychology. Not only did she enjoy the counseling aspect of her degree, but the career counseling aspect in particular. This led to a job at her university’s career office, where she became interested in participating in career fairs, giving resume advice, and helping students find jobs.

“All this led to my search for a job where I could focus on recruiting full-time,” she explains. “I’m thankful that I found my path and now get to help other veterans and military spouses find their dream jobs.”

As a Talent Advisor at L&P, Summer is passionate about making career resources more accessible to the military community.

“I’m very excited to be part of a team that is open to hearing my perspective as a veteran and military spouse,” she said. “I get to use my personal experience to help improve our recruitment efforts for the military community as well as improve access to resources for them.”

Summer also encourages veterans and military spouses who are looking for career support to reach out to their fellow military community. “It can feel overwhelming to navigate the Transition Assistance Program alone,” she says.

The Transition Assistance Program, or TAP, is a government program that provides those leaving military service with information, tools, and training to prepare them for civilian life.

“My advice would be to talk to other people that have gone through it and take advantage of the resources available to you. You’re not alone – there are people who want to help you take the next step in your career.”

No-Sag Recognized for Veteran Hiring Practices

Over its 72 years in Kendallville, Indiana, L&P’s No-Sag Products facility has had a reputation of welcoming and working with veterans and active duty military. In fact, their workforce makeup is comprised of around 8% military employees.

Two weeks ago, the facility was proud to accept the 2020 Northeast Indiana Manufacturers’ Workplace Diversity Award. The award recognized their dedication and commitment to diverse and inclusive hiring practices.

Over the years, the facility has been recognized several other times for their hiring practices and dedication to veterans. On November 7, 2019, No-Sag General Manager Russ Dunton, and Jason Maneke, Human Resources Manager, accepted the Hire Vets Medallion Award from Deputy Secretary of Labor Sam Shellenberger in a ceremony at the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.

“Vets have a skill set that gives them a leg up,” said Dunton. “Veterans are disciplined, receive training well, and are on time.”

In 2008, the facility was also honored with the American Legion Certificate of Appreciation from the National Economic Commission of the American Legion.

No-Sag has provided jobs to veterans from World War II to the latest conflicts in Afghanistan. One of those employees was Sam Crossley, who started with the company in 1961. Crossley and his wife Linda were both longtime employees at the facility. Sam retired as a shift supervisor in 2008, after working there for 47 years. Linda continued to work part-time in the front-office. She shared that No-Sag was very supportive when Sam was drafted to go to war during the Vietnam War. Upon returning from active duty, his job was still waiting for him.

“We are like one big family here,” she said.

“They have been good to me,” said Tim Knox, a current employee and Army Veteran. “For a matter of fact they are good to all veterans. When I went to reserve status for the Gulf War, they were really supportive.” Continue reading