Civilian life is not always easy for veterans to readjust to. For some, the added pressure of mental or physical issues make the adjustment even harder.
Add finding a job to those pressures, and a stable life after service can be a distant dream.
For Clay Luthy, a veteran in Abilene, Texas, who relies on the assistance of a service dog, life’s complications had made searching for work an arduous and frustrating process. Few employers were willing to hire the man, considering he would always have his dog, Charlotte, by his side.
That wasn’t an issue for Lowe’s, however. And shortly after a visit to the Abilene location, Luthy nailed his intake interview. Now, both he and Charlotte are sporting the home improvement store’s trademark red vests each day they’re on the clock.
Customer Judy Dechert Rose, posted an image of Lowes’ newest team members on Facebook.
“I love Abilene Lowes, way to go!” Dechert Rose wrote. “This is a disabled vet who struggled to get a job because he needs his service dog! Lowes hired them BOTH!!”
According to CBS, several knee surgeries make it difficult for Luthy to bend down, and if he falls, Charlotte is there to help him up.
Luthy has had five surgeries on his knees and can’t bend his left leg. Charlotte is trained to help Luthy up if he can’t get off the floor.
But this veteran isn’t one to play up his personal setbacks. He understands the situation he’s in, and he strives to succeed every day. The modest veteran didn’t even reveal to Lowe’s human resource manager Jay Fellers that he was having trouble finding a job, he simply filled out the application and interviewed like everyone else. Of course, he brought Charlotte along, too.
“He applied here and went through a normal interview process, and brought Charlotte in as part of the interview. He told us about Charlotte, and how she supports him,” Fellers told the Dodo. “He ended up being our top candidate,”
As a strong sense of humility and honor are crucial to any company’s workforce, his true strengths shined through. Now two months into the job, visitors to the Abilene Lowe’s can see Luthy and Charlotte as the shop, and the smiles are already spreading.
“If someone is a good worker, it shouldn’t matter if they have a service dog. But in our case, it’s been an absolute benefit to have Charlotte around,” Fellers said. “She’s a great hit with the folks who come around our store, especially the kids. Our customers really love and appreciate her. It’s been a good time having them as part of our staff.”
As Luthy and Charlotte provide a great example of the impact a service dog can have on a veteran’s life, it’s important to consider the reasoning behind enforcing restrictive breed-specific legislation on military bases. The antiquated discrimination prevents many fulfilling matches, like Luthy and Charlotte, from ever becoming reality. Follow the button below and help put an end to BSL.
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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.