Hardwoods of Michigan receives flag for supporting employee during deployment

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Richard Service, owner of Hardwoods of Michigan, Inc./Tri-County Logging, holds a flag the company received from the United States Air Force for its support of employee, Senior Airman Adam Walden. Walden is currently serving in Kuwait as an Air Force reservist. Photo by Mary Kay McPartlin.

Hardwoods of Michigan, Inc./Tri-County Logging recently received a flag from the Department of the Air Force in honor of the company’s support of Senior Airman Adam Walden, a nearly 20-year employee of Hardwoods of Michigan.

“The flag is treasured by Hardwoods of Michigan,” said Vice President Jeff Mercy. “It is a reminder that freedom is never free.”

Richard Service, a Clinton High School graduate, started the sawmill 40 years ago. Both a sawmill and a logging operation, the company employs 111 people from the tri-county area.

“I’m proud of our company,” Mercy said. “We are a Lenawee-based company, and harvest woodlots in the area.”

Hardwoods of Michigan purchases local timber and some produced logs as well as buying lumber from other sawmills. Its customers are both foreign and domestic company, who purchase the wood from Hardwoods of Michigan for flooring, cabinets, molding, and millwork.

Walden has been serving in Kuwait for six months, and this is his second deployment overseas. “Adam works in our dry division,” said Mercy.

He operates a longfork, which is a specialty forklift, and moves lumber into the dryer. “It is a very technical job,” Mercy said.

It is a challenge for Hardwoods of Michigan to work around the deployment schedule of an Air Force reservist, but according to Mercy, the company is proud of Walden and pleased to be his employer.

“Adam knew when he was going to be deployed, so we were able to hire someone to job shadow him, and then cover his position while he is in Kuwait,” said Mercy.
The certificate from the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron in Ali Al Salem AB, Kuwait reads “Let it be known that this American Flag was flown on a mission to an undisclosed location on the 15th day of August 2013, aboard an MQ-1B Predator, Tail 3159. The mission was flown in support of American and Coalition Force objectives in the AFCENT Theater of Operations. This flag is hereby presented to Hardwoods of Michigan Tri County Logging for outstanding support to the nation and our brothers and sisters in arms.”

Mercy wanted the flag to be displayed properly, and turned to the Clinton American Legion Post 176 for its expert assistance. Members of the group took the time to properly fold and frame the flag for Hardwoods of Michigan.
“I’m grateful to them for doing this for us,” Mercy said. The flag will be placed in a position of honor within the company.




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