Amazon honors veterans

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By Zac Oakes


Although Veterans Day has passed, a local company held a ceremony honoring Veterans on Tuesday morning.

The Campbellsville Amazon Fulfillment Center held a free lunch on Tuesday to honor and recognize the veterans and veterans’ spouses that are employed there.

Amazon Manager Carlos De La Garza said there are more than 70 veterans employed at the Amazon Fulfillment Center, and several other spouses of veterans are employed there, too. Across Kentucky, more than 1,000 veterans are employed by Amazon and around 17,000 nationally.

De La Garza, a veteran himself, said it is all about taking a little bit of time to recognize them for their contributions to the country, as well as the Amazon company.

“It is an important holiday for me as well,” De La Garza said. “I’m thankful we have a company that goes out of their way to make sure that we are hiring veterans and helping them transition, and also want to give back to these people and communities.”

During the ceremony, De La Garza presented a check for $5,000 to Phil Davis of American Legion Post 82, as well as a check to a representative of Team Red, White, and Blue, an organization that helps connect veterans.

“We want to give locally,” De La Garza said. “The American Legion does a lot in this community and they give back to a lot of our associates. These donations will hopefully impact a lot of people.”

For De La Garza, he said Amazon strongly believes in hiring veterans for the skills and abilities they bring to the workplace.

“You really get a sense of duty and commitment,” De La Garza said. “… They also bring great problem-solving skills. When things happen, they are able to adjust. What we do here doesn’t have the same type of life-altering impact, but those skills are very important to what we do here at Amazon… These servicemen and servicewomen bring a lot of leadership abilities and skills to our company.”

For Katrina “Kat” Hess, an Amazon employee, the company’s willingness to be flexible with her during her husband John’s recent deployment meant a great deal to her. John recently returned from service and both were in attendance at Tuesday’s ceremony.

Having three children, Katrina had many more responsibilities while John was deployed. She said she was thankful that Amazon granted her a hardship waiver to a part-time position as she adjusted to the change. Aside from that, she said the company went above and beyond expectations.

“They made a care package and they were always asking how he was doing and wishing us well,” Katrina said. “It means a whole lot to me that they did all that.”

For John, he said it meant a lot to him as well that Amazon was so willing to work with Katrina during this time.

“It was nice to know that she wasn’t like so many military spouses out there that catch a hard time from their employer,” John said. “She was basically doing triple duty and picking up the slack for me since I wasn’t there. It’s great when an employer is willing to do that.”

John also noted that his mind was at ease knowing that Katrina did not have added stress from her job.

“It helped me to focus on what I had to do while I was gone, and gave me ease of mind not having to worry about how things were going with that,” John added. “That was a big help.”

John and Katrina said they felt Amazon was really unique in that regard and said they were thankful for the company.