Employers prepare for troop departure - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Employers prepare for troop departure

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- Area employers are preparing for the deployment of thousands of National Guard soldiers as they get ready to go to Afghanistan.

Specialist Nick Riley has been working at Strive Sports Supplements in Cedar Falls since it moved to its new location on the city's south-side. In just a couple of weeks Riley will be packing his bags for a year long tour in Afghanistan.

"It's kind of hard because he's an integral part of where we are today and the growth at this store and the direction we've been taking it.  Just through networking and the people that he knows and being at the gym and the product knowledge.  It's kind of hard when you lose somebody like that," said Strive Owner, Ryan Dohlman.

Employers have to follow certain laws when one of their employees is deployed including prompt reinstatement, accumulation of seniority, reinstatement of health benefits, as well as training if needed.
These laws apply to all public and private employers in the U.S. and include federal, state, and local governments, regardless of size. However, private contractors do not have to follow these rules.

"I would like to come back and hopefully by then there's more stores open. I know we're opening one in Waterloo starting pretty soon. Actually when I leave is when they're opening starting it up and hopefully there will be one in Cedar Rapids, something like that where I can go and just do the same thing again," said Riley.

"When he comes back we got something here waiting for him. We can always find stuff. There's always stuff we could be doing like doing more events, going out to the gyms doing and promotion and stuff like that," said Dohlman.

Riley says going to Afghanistan will be a great experience and he looks forward to the lessons he will learn while there.

"Not taking anything for granted. I think a lot of people don't realize how good they have it until they don't have anything. I think that experience will help me out in that respect," said Riley.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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