Jon Cox enlisted in the Navy at 21, leaving his hometown of Indianapolis. Cox spent the next 24 years in the Navy, working his way up to become a Master Chief Petty Officer. In 2010, Cox was assigned to a station in Afghanistan for a year-long deployment. Cox received more than 20 military decorations during his 24 years of service. Upon retirement, Cox wanted something particular out a new career—a family environment. He found that at the Hy-Vee corporate office in 2018. Cox was drawn to Hy-Vee as a company that held many of the same values he did. “Hy-Vee has an amazing atmosphere to work in,” Cox said. “It’s like a tight-knit family, where everyone is accepting of you and constantly offering to help.” He's brought many more members into the Hy-Vee family this year, working as a recruiter specializing in helping veterans find positions at Hy-Vee.
Manager of Produce Warehouse, Chariton
Born and raised in Corydon, Iowa, Matt Bennett joined the National Guard at the age of 19 and served for the next eight years. He was deployed to Iraq in 2008 and later that year returned home to Iowa to begin his Hy-Vee career as a part-time employee at the Chariton Distribution Center. “It’s such a great company and the opportunities are endless,“ Bennett said. ’At the end of the day, they really take care of us and you can’t ask for much more.” One of Bennett's most memorable Hy-Vee experiences came over Labor Day weekend 2012, when his crew was tasked with organizing and dispersing one of the largest shipment days in the company's history. Bennett's leadership helped his team overcome several obstacles so they could successfully get all the orders out on time.
District Store Director, Jefferson City & Osage Beach Hy-Vee
Larry Sandal’s passion for his job is fueled by the family and team atmosphere that he found at Hy-Vee—similar to his experiences in the South Dakota National Guard. Sandal joined the National Guard after high school in 2005. In 2007, Sandal went to Iraq for a year-long deployment. During his time in Iraq, he served as Logistics Specialist, using his specialty skillset to repair high-tech weaponry. Upon his return from over a year of active duty overseas, Sandal remained a reserve and began a career at Hy-Vee. He joined the Sioux Falls-area Hy-Vee team in 2008, and eventually became an Assistant Store Director at the Marion Road store in Sioux Falls. “[I appreciate] the incredible family atmosphere in the stores,” Sandal said. “Every day is a wonderful experience.” Sandal takes pride in making his customers happy and going out of his way to make their day special when they enter the store.
Regional Vice President, Northeast Iowa
When Andy Streit got the call that his Marine Corps Reserve unit was shipping out for the Gulf War in 1990, he was running the front-end at the Muscatine (Iowa) Hy-Vee. “I was shaken up,” he recalls, “Everyone was very supportive that night.” Andy's coworkers threw him a going-away party. And when he returned home, his fellow Hy-Vee employees accepted him back into the store as if he had never left. As Andy worked his way through the Hy-Vee ranks to become a store director, he came to realize more fully how much Hy-Vee values citizen soldiers and veterans. “That applied a lot to how I manage my store and what I do in regards to veterans and current service members,” he says.