In honor of our veterans, we’re celebrating our brave service men and women by spotlighting the military members in our orange family. In the coming weeks, former and active-duty military and spouses share their stories and career experiences working at The Home Depot.
Jai Novak served as a Cryptologic Technician working with radar during her stint in the Navy from 1987-1991. If that job sounds difficult, Jai says it was even harder trying to convince her friends that military service – and her decision to join -- was right for women.
“I have a huge sense of pride from my time serving,” she says. “But I do remember a lot of my friends asking me what I was thinking.”
For Jai, serving in the military fulfilled her desire to see the world after growing up in the small town of Orange, Texas. And after marrying a spouse who also served, she lived on military bases and installations for more than 20 years – including three years in Rota, Spain.
“I had a grandfather, and uncles who served in the military,” she says. “I never thought that I couldn’t serve as well.”
Jai has been an electrical supervisor at The Home Depot store in Corpus Christi, Texas for five years. She was initially hired in Camarillo, California, through a Home Depot program to employ veterans. Jai worked there for five and half years before military duties brought her family back home to Texas.
“I think Home Depot has really been a great company to work for,” says Jai. “They have a great benefits program, and especially now during COVID-19, they have really stepped it up. I enjoy working for them.”
Sean, the eldest of her three sons, has spent more than nine years in the Army, making last month’s Veterans Day very special for yet another member of their family.
“I’m very proud of him as well for choosing to serve.” Jai says.
The Home Depot is proud to employ more than 35,000 veterans and military spouses throughout the company. Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $350 million in veteran causes and improved more than 48,000 veteran homes and facilities in more than 4,500 cities.