Benefits for employee in Iraq

We have only one employee who has been deployed to Iraq. His name is Shane, he is in hs mid-20's, and has a wife a 2 year old daughter. He is in the National Guard. To show our appreciation and support we are continuing to pay the difference between his salary and his military pay. Out of this he pays his portion of medical insurance for his wife and child, who are on COBRA, so it is not out of pocket. We send him boxes of goodies, and email him regularly. We provide a support system for his wife, who knows she can call upon any number of employees if she needs help. Do any of you have employees in the military for whom you do something special? If so, I'd love to know. Thanks in advance.


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  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 04-08-05 AT 09:15AM (CST)[/font][br][br]We also have one employee in his mid 20's who has been deployed in Iraq since December, his name is Eric. The company decided that to honor this brave young man and, to ensure that he not suffer any type of financial hardship while he is serving in Iraq, he also is paid the difference between his salary and military pay. The employee portion for the cost of all of his voluntary benefits are withheld from the check he receives from us, including his medical. His dependents did not have to elect COBRA, as the coverage remains as it was prior to his deployment. Currently our company is in the middle of the "Project Eric" campaign. We contacted the USO and asked for a list of acceptable items that could be sent to Iraq. The list was distributed to all employees and posted throughout the company. There are huge boxes to receive the donations placed thoughout the company. We are collecting items from the USO list which will be sent to Eric and his entire platoon of 14 other soldiers.

    EDIT to add: We are also coordinating with the USO for the details on shipping the goods to Iraq.
  • Thanks, Pixie. Great suggestion about the USO. I'll have to check the number of soldiers in Shane's platoon.
  • If you really want to do something nice, advise him to check into the military insurance for him and his family. Much cheaper and in most instances better coverage than most ER's plans. He could then drop the Cobra, have more disposable income for his family and would have the qualifying event necessary to re-enroll in your plan upon his return. This worked out great for one of our EEs a few months back.
  • Thanks, Popeye! I'll do that today.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 04-11-05 AT 08:07AM (CST)[/font][br][br]In addition to some of the things mentioned above, we had a local florist make us some huge yellow ribbons with metal stick-rods. We had these in a line of three (representing our three guys) and they stayed prominantly out front for all traffic to see and for our employees to reflect on (or not) each day when they entered the building. When a serviceman returned, we gave him his tattered and somewhat faded yellow ribbon. They each seemed to appreciate it when we told them we had kept it up for them through their total time of deployment.

    (edit) I thought the military family coverage was automatic nowadays and was not something he would need to 'check into'. Am I wrong? This is what our returning guardsmen have indicated.
  • We also had a large yellow ribbon made and we affixed it to the flag pole outside the front door. Wouldn't you know it, Shane came by to tell everyone good-bye before he flew out, and someone had stolen his ribbon. Needless to say, we replaced it and moved its location. I occasionally receive a batch of pictures via email from him and we post them in the employee break room. Each time we get new ones, we take the old ones down and put them in a folder. We also send him a copy of the company magazine, which often mentions him or runs his picture.

  • >
    >(edit) I thought the military family coverage
    >was automatic nowadays and was not something he
    >would need to 'check into'. Am I wrong? This is
    >what our returning guardsmen have indicated.

    I'm not sure whether it is automatic or needs to be requested but it sure is more cost effective and from what I heard very good coverage.
  • Apparently, from what I've learned, the benefits may differ from the coverage offered by the employer. In our case, this was true, and the wife wanted to stay with our insurance. Also, all providers do not accept the military insurance.
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