Published on November 12th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Toyota’s Georgetown plant maintains bonds with army veterans
It’s been 25 years since Sgt. Tony Hendrichs stepped onto the sands of Saudi Arabia, where he spent eight months during Operation Desert Storm. As one of the first National Guard units to deploy from Kentucky, he wasn’t quite sure what to expect while serving his country overseas. As a newly hired team member at Toyota’s Georgetown, Ky. plant, Hendrichs traded in Camrys for camouflage in October of 1990. During the months that followed, fellow plant workers sent care packages and support letters, while his Toyota paychecks and benefits continued as usual.
While deployed, Hendrichs and his family had plenty of worries, but the security of his job at home was never one of them. He returned to work at Toyota in the summer of 1991. Fast forward to 2015 and Hendrichs, who is still employed at the Georgetown plant and currently chairs the Toyota Veterans Association, will tell you not every soldier has the kind of homecoming he had. The Toyota Veterans Association aids Toyota team members who have served in the Armed Forces by providing information about veterans’ benefits, offering support to soldiers returning to civilian life and supporting military families during deployment.
To support veterans returning home to Kentucky’s three military bases, in 2011, Toyota pledged to actively recruit and maintain a dedicated percentage of military employees in its local workforce. Today, more than 740 veterans are employed at the Georgetown plant. During the program, 10 Toyota team members received a special recognition for service during the Vietnam War, which marked its 50th anniversary this year.