Honoring Current and Former Military Service People Turns Customers into Family

Mar 19, 2019

Store: McMaken's IGA
Location: Brookville, Ohio
Owner: Bill Price

Department: Customer Service
Difficulty: Easy
Store Specs: 35,000 square feet

McMaken's Veterans Day Ad Download

At the entrance to our store, we have a wall dedicated to current and former military service people. One of my employees came up with the idea as a way to acknowledge customers or family who have served their country. I can’t tell you how many times customers just stand and look at all the pictures.

We started by asking our employees to bring photos, and then we promoted it on Facebook and in our weekly ad. Customers bring us photos of their family members or friends who have served, and we laminate the pictures and hang them on the wall. The customers and community love it and are proud to have their photos on our wall. In addition, we always run a special ad for Veterans Day that encourages customers to bring in photos.



For Our Shoppers

  • Proud to share. Our shoppers are proud to have a family member's picture displayed in public.
  • Community spirit. Since they contribute a meaningful part of their family's history, our customers feel that they are part of our store and team.
  • Important recognition. It's important to recognize our military service people and our veterans appreciate it.

For Our Store

  • Creates an inclusive environment for shoppers. It has helped make my employees, customers, and vendors feel like part of our family.
  • Demonstrates support for veterans. The community knows we support our local veterans.
  • Differentiates our store with a personal touch. Hopefully when customers are choosing where to shop, this recognition is one of the things they see we do to be different.


  1. Position your wall in a prime location so that all customers and vendors can see it. We arranged ours on the wall you walk past as you enter and leave the store.
  2. Make a nice frame. We had a handyman put cork on the wall and frame it with a wood border.
  3. Style it well. We put a patriotic flag pattern over the corkboard.
  4. Ask your distributers for help. Anheuser-Busch supplied us with wall mirrors that feature each military branch.
  5. Protect the photos. We used the office lamination machine to protect each photo.


The cost for this installation was minimal—we only spent money on the supplies for the wall and used our lamination machine for the photos.


  • Assign an employee to champion and lead the project.
  • Post a note by the time clock to tell your employees about the project. Ask them to bring in a picture of themselves or family members who have served or are currently serving in the military.
  • Choose a prime spot for all customers and vendors to see the photos. 
  • Make it special by using a handyman to put cork on the wall and frame it with a wood border. Then install a flag-patterned fabric over the corkboard for a patriotic touch.
  • Create a header over the wall so customers know why you're featuring the photos.
  • Use an office lamination machine to protect each photo.


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