DECATUR, Ala., May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Brian McCleskey, a driver sales representative for Con-way Freight, has served two tours of duty with the Army Reserve in Kuwait and Afghanistan. During those deployments, he was able to focus on his mission and leave concerns over his family's well-being behind - thanks to Con-way Freight, his employer of nearly 15 years and a staunch supporter of veterans and their families.
Today, Staff Sgt. McCleskey honored his employer with a special presentation - an American flag that flew with our nation's soldiers in Afghanistan. For Staff Sgt. McCleskey, it was a gift of thanks for his company's active support and outreach to him and his family while he served two tours of duty under Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
At a ceremony held at Con-way Freight's service center here, company officials also recognized Staff Sgt. McCleskey for his service to the country, and accepted the commemorative flag, which will be displayed at the company's headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich. The flag was flown on a combat mission aboard a U.S. Air Force F-16CM over Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. McCleskey enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve in 2003 and has been a Con-way Freight driver for nearly 15 years. He was first deployed in 2008, stationed in Kuwait and then once again in 2010 to Afghanistan - both in transportation roles. McCleskey has a seven-year-old daughter and his wife, Patti, is expecting their second child. While he was deployed, Con-way Freight's human resources representatives maintained close contact with Patti to ensure she understood and was receiving company benefits for deployed soldiers, and that the company's support network of employee volunteers was helping her with everyday challenges like home maintenance, auto repairs and snow removal.
"Not only did I know my job with Con-way Freight would be there for me when I returned from overseas, I also knew that my family was being cared for, and that gave me the peace of mind I needed to be fully present and there for my unit," said McCleskey. "I've worked for this company for a long time and their support of the Guard and Reserves is important to me. They allow me to serve my country, without risking the livelihood of my family. It was a wonderful experience to share this token of my appreciation with the company today."
Con-way offers its employee-soldiers pay differentials and uninterrupted health benefits for their families during the first year of deployment. Over the last five years, the company has paid more than $1.1 million in differential compensation to its deployed employee-soldiers. Upon return from active duty, employees are reinstated to the same or equal job, pay and grade level. If an employee needs to move for a returning job, the company pays relocation expenses. To help employees readjust to civilian duty, Con-way's Employee Assistance Program provides access to counseling through the company's health benefit plans. Lastly, company employees on a quarterly basis sponsor drives in which "care packages" of goods such as foodstuffs and other personal hygiene items are collected and shipped to soldiers and their units in the field.
"The American flag that Staff Sgt. McCleskey graciously presented us with today flew with distinction over our troops in Afghanistan," said Con-way Freight President Greg Lehmkuhl. "We've always supported hiring military veterans and members of the Guard and Reserves at Con-way. They have leadership skills, a work ethic and a level of responsibility and dedication to their jobs that's a direct result of their military experience. Brian's gift is one we will treasure and that holds great meaning for us. We thank him for his service and will continue to support his service to our country."
Today, Con-way employs nearly 2,700 military service veterans, including members of the National Guard and Reserves. In 2007 and 2012, Con-way Freight won the Patriot Award, an honor created by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and the Department of Defense, to publicly recognize employers that believe in a strong National Guard and Reserve. Employers are nominated by their citizen-soldier employees, and qualify for recognition when they demonstrate leadership and promote personnel policies that encourage employee participation in the Guard and Reserves.
Patriot Award winners are eligible for The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award - the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers committed to employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserves. Con-way Inc. is a previous recipient of the Freedom Award, having been conferred the honor in September 2007.
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About Con-way Freight
Con-way Freight is the industry's leading less-than-truckload (LTL) freight transportation company, providing guaranteed, day-definite regional and transcontinental service with exception-free delivery, on-time service performance and faster transit times through a single, unified network of 425 operating locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Con-way Freight offers LTL freight transportation across North America and through Global LTL™delivery in the United States from around the world. Global solutions include international less-than-container load (LCL) ocean shipments from Asia through its OceanGuaranteed® service; direct service to more than 30 Bahamian and Caribbean ports through TropicalDirectSM; and domestic offshore transportation to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Con-way Freight is a certified FAST highway carrier and is C-TPAT/PIP-, ACE- and CSA-certified.
SOURCE Con-way Freight