Veterans Day 2023
Remembering those who have served, here and abroad; in wartime and in peace.
This year marks the 105th anniversary of the end of WWI, and we take a moment to recognize the significance of the U.S. participation in the ‘war to end all wars’.
For more than 100 years, on November 11, Americans have remembered those who served our country in uniform. First known as Armistice Day, since 1954, it has been known as Veterans Day. (There is no apostrophe in the day, as it is not a day that belongs to anyone, but rather a day to honor all service people.)
This November, on Veterans Day and beyond, we celebrate and honor the millions of veterans throughout the country, and expressed our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for their service and sacrifices, and we encourage you to please join us in recognizing our veterans and their families in service to our country and communities, here and abroad, in times of conflict and in times of peace. Thank you, for all that you do.
How to Get Involved
The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11 at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans' organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces. Throughout the month of November, there are many other ways to celebrate veterans and their families, both locally and nationwide. To learn more about ways to get involved, view the Department of Veterans affairs calendar of events.
Veterans Month at Renewal by Andersen: Partnering to Help Veterans in Need
At Renewal by Andersen, we are thankful for our veterans not just on November 11, but every day. As a military-friendly business, we have many current and former servicemen and women on our teams who are doing great work and play vital roles in helping us grow and thrive as a company. Our locations across the nation are also dedicated to giving back to our communities and to the veterans in those communities wherever possible.
One such collaboration happened this November, when Renewal by Andersen of the Greater Twin Cities partnered with the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) to provide 36 new windows for a transitional housing complex in St. Paul, Minnesota, that supports veterans who have experienced homelessness. [Editor's note: watch this month's featured video on the project to learn more]
The project will make a significant difference in the lives of the veterans who reside in the complex by helping to provide warmth, comfort, and security, as well as helping to reduce energy costs, making it easier for veterans to afford their homes. As Twin Cities General Manager Nolan Kohlrusch says, “It’s not just about windows; it’s about transformation.”
Founded in 1990, MACV is a Veteran-focused nonprofit organization providing services and support to end veteran homelessness in Minnesota. Over the past three decades, the group has worked tirelessly to create a future where every veteran in Minnesota has access to services for attainable housing. Today, MACV touches the lives of more than 2,000 veterans annually, and support from the community and local businesses like Renewal by Andersen play a crucial role in their ability to reach so many people. Jon Lovald, chief operating officer for MACV, emphasized the importance of collaborations like this, stating, “MACV couldn’t possibly achieve our mission of ending veteran homelessness without partnerships.”
Kohlrusch, a veteran himself, explains why it was important for Renewal by Andersen to contribute to MACV’s mission. “We don’t just want to be a business; we want to be a community stakeholder and promote all the goodness within it,” he says.
To Kohlrusch, these windows represent more than just panes of glass. They stand as a symbol of hope, underscoring Renewal by Andersen’s commitment to make a lasting impact. “MACV’s mission goes beyond taking a veteran off the streets for a day or two. And when I think about this property and these windows going in, it’s also long-term. The veterans who live here are not going to have a window solution that’s transactional, it’s transformational,” he says.
The impact of this alliance has had a profound effect on everyone that has come together to make this project a reality. Lovald agrees, calling the project “an amazing story of donation/volunteer vortex of energy.”
He emphasized the importance of providing veterans with a place they can call their own. “This location will be a cherished haven for ten veterans, where they can make this space their own and feel at home within this community,” says Lovald.
Oudone Xiong, a Marine Corps veteran with fifteen years of service, and a property manager for MACV, eagerly anticipates the completion of the housing project. He understands the importance of initiatives like this in helping veterans overcome the challenges they face after their military service. “It’s immensely gratifying to support our veterans and show them that their sacrifices for our nation have not gone unnoticed,” he said.
MACV employs a multifaceted approach to empower veterans on their journey to housing stability. The services offered range from outreach, housing case management, and supportive housing to healthcare navigation, employment service, housing subsidy programs, financial management, re-entry services, and legal advisement. Regardless of the specific services veterans utilize, the core focus remains on building a strong foundation for each individual, enabling them to lead a fulfilling life after their military service.
In a community-driven effort, Renewal by Andersen’s collaboration with MACV underscores the power of collective support in transforming the lives of veterans. This collaboration embodies a strong message of care and gratitude from the community to those who’ve dedicated their lives to serving the nation. While 36 windows may seem like a small contribution, they represent a beacon of hope and transformation within the broader context of ending veteran homelessness. Through this collaboration, Minnesota veterans will not only enjoy new windows but gain a renewed sense of hope and the opportunity for a brighter future.
Lovald concludes. “I want to extend my profound appreciation to Renewal by Andersen for their exceedingly generous donation of windows and for installing them. It’s heartwarming to know that these veterans residing in these units will gaze out those windows and truly feel that this is their home.”
To learn more about Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans and its mission to end veteran homelessness, or to find out how you can help or get involved, visit the MACV website.
A Long-standing Tradition
Andersen has been dedicated to supporting military veterans, active-duty personnel, and the extended families who love, nurture and sustain them throughout their training and deployment for more than a century. During World War I, under Fred Andersen’s leadership, Andersen suspended normal business operations to produce more than 200,000 window frames for barracks and other military buildings. Employees also manufactured thousands of target frames used in gunnery practice. By 1918, the plant devoted its entire attention to the war effort, suspending normal business. Also during WWI, Mary “Molly” Andersen created the first American Field Service recreation camp for U.S. military nurses in Europe.
During World War II, Andersen redesigned its Narroline® double-hung window to eliminate 97 percent of critical materials for the war effort, aptly naming it the Victory window. Andersen also contributed to the war efforts by producing wooden ammunition boxes. In recognition of these efforts, Andersen earned two prestigious Army-Navy “E” awards, an honor presented to companies whose production facilities achieved “Excellence in Production” (“E”) of war equipment.
In 2019, Andersen Corporation was recognized as a Yellow Ribbon Company by the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs (the Minnesota National Guard), for its commitment to leveraging existing programs and building effective support initiatives for vets, active military employees, and their families.
“At Andersen, we believe in working all together to make our company and our communities stronger. By supporting our veterans, active duty, and reserve service members, we demonstrate our gratitude for their service and sacrifice,” says Chris Galvin, President and CEO of Andersen Corporation.
Andersen is also a signee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement, demonstrating the company’s commitment to maintaining the strength and readiness of the Nation’s Guard and Reserve units. As part of its comprehensive plan, Andersen commits to new and continued programs that:
• Hire, retain and support employees who serve in the reserves
• Sponsor career events for people transitioning from active military duty to the civilian workforce
• Create support plans for deployed employees and their families
• Provide pay differential above legal requirements for employees who are active in the armed forces
• Engage with veteran-owned businesses and work to include diversity in its supply chain
• Focus on aiding veterans’ support nonprofit organizations
Other resources for employees include pay continuation offerings for veterans called to active service and the Military Connections employee resource network which helps to lead initiatives and assist with identifying resources and support for our veterans, active military employees, and their families.
Says Lance Whitacre, Sr. VP of Manufacturing and Logistics and Military Connections executive sponsor, "During November, and especially on this Veterans Day, I want to thank our employees and their loved ones for their military service to our nation. You are true heroes. My father and my grandparents served in the U.S. Military, and while I think of them on this day, I also think of our vast group of colleagues at Andersen Corporation and Renewal by Andersen who have served and continue to serve our country. The Military Connections ERN continues to find new ways to connect and support servicemembers and veterans within our company, and we will proudly support their efforts to further engage and look for new opportunities. Thank you again for your service and thank you for making Andersen Corporation and Renewal by Andersen special places to work."
Now Hiring Heroes
We are committed to hiring veterans, and recognize that military veterans possess the drive, independent work ethic, and leadership skills that are hard to teach. We encourage and welcome veterans of all branches of the service to learn more about us and consider joining our team.
Are you a veteran and looking to start that next career stage? It could be with a long-standing American company, devoted to improving homes, lives, and communities. We have openings across all areas of the organization, from product manufacturing specialists, master installers, dynamic sales consultants, marketing, IT, and RD&I professionals, and many more.
Renewal by Andersen has locations throughout the country, so we welcome our employees, friends, and advocates to refer a veteran today!
Check out career opportunities on our careers page!