SHOP AT SEARS/K-MART: Unlike most companies, they extend differential pay for military reservists for up to 60 months

One company is helping military reservists by extending the length of time for differential pay when they are called to active duty.

10 NEWS  (H/T Randy) When Gabriel Garcia isn’t helping customers as the store manager at the K-Mart in San Ysidro, he serves as a Marine Reservist and it does not cost him financially, thanks to the Sears Holding Corporation. The company, which owns Sears and K-Mart, makes up the difference in pay.

More than 580,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve have been called to active duty since 2001. Since April of this year, more than 80,000 of them are on active duty, but only 10 percent receive differential pay.

“Every time I have gone on deployment that has to do with the military, the company has supported me,” said Garcia, who has been deployed to Iraq twice. When members of Guard or Reserves are called to active duty, companies are required to hold their job upon their return. Other companies also offer differential pay, which usually lasts for six months. However, the Sears Corporation extends that benefit up to 60 months. They also allow continued participation in lie insurance, medical, and dental programs.

“To know that they are going to be taken care of — in terms of pay, in terms of benefits — it allows those troops overseas to focus on coming back safe,” said retired Army Capt. Tom Aeillo, who helps oversee the military programs for the Sears Corporation at its headquarters in Chicago.

“I didn’t have to worry about my family’s well-being,” said Garcia, who said he is not shy about recruiting members of the military to his company.

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