LETTER: You Should Be Ashamed Crane Interiors!


This week a mother was challenged to obey a company policy or take an important phone call. By now, everyone knows that she took the phone call. The call was from her son Marine Lance Corporal Mark Rhyne who is serving in Afghanistan. Because of his duties, Corporal Rhyne does not have regular access to a phone or Internet services like other members of his unit might have. It could be weeks at a time before his family would hear from him. It’s not like he could pick up the phone and call when his mother wasn’t working; he had to use the satellite phone whenever it became available. His life is dictated by the military, not when it’s convenient for a company policy.

Before he left on this deployment, Teresa Danford told her son “I will stand in your steed while you are gone, I will stand.” And that she did! No mother should be forced to make such a decision when it comes to her children. Especially the 20-year-old Cannon County native who is serving to protect companies like the one Teresa works for. So Crane Interiors has a cell phone policy – what company doesn’t nowadays; it’s the time in which we live. But, we are also living in a time of war and these young boys, barely graduated from high school, have decided to step up and protect this country from crazies like the Sadaam Husseins and Osama Bin Ladens of today. Rules are in place for a reason – most employees get that – but the old adage saying is “rules are meant to be broken” and this is one of those occasions.

Does Crane Interior even know what patriotism means? Well, www.Dictionary.com defines it as “devoted love, support and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.” Did you see that one big word that is lacking from this company – SUPPORT. Just because Corporal Rhyne is the one serving does not mean we need to neglect the family he leaves behind or supports while he is deployed. The deployment effects everyone involved from grandparents, parents, children, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. If we don’t support them as well, what in the world are we doing then? It’s important for those service members to know that their families will be treated fairly and taken care of during their time away. If their community doesn’t stand up for them, who will?

Military life is not any easy lifestyle – ask any veteran or veteran’s family and they will quickly tell you. But, they will also tell you how comfortable they felt leaving their home knowing their families would be taken care of by neighbors, church members, military organizations, etc. Do you think people joining the military sign up to go to war? If you do you are sadly mistaken and need to go to a history class. The point is no one wants to go to war, but when duty calls they must go. It’s what they train for on a daily basis.

According to a News Channel 5 article, Larry Officer, the Human Resources Manager at Crane Interiors issued a statement, “It is our policy that there is to be no cell phones used during working hours due to safety concerns within a production environment. Employees are allowed to use cell phones during breaks and lunches. We have a communicated policy for all employees to be reached in case of an emergency.”

Does that not seem like the coldest statement you have ever read? It sounds like the company could care less that Teresa’s son is defending this country and is constantly in harm’s way and that because she broke this policy she needs to be reprimanded. How would you feel, Larry, if that was your son and that was the only time you would have been able to talk to him? I encourage you to answer that question. How would you feel if something happened to that young man and you prevented his mother from possibly her last communication with them? Would you want that on your conscience? How would you explain to Corporal Rhyne’s newborn son as he got older that you did not allow his grandmother to talk to his Dad because cell phones weren’t allowed and God forbid something happened to him? Not many people would want that kind of guilt.

Just as a side note: Back in late October/November Cannon County residents were asked by the Hilton Stone American Legion Post #279 Auxiliary Unit to donate supplies, letters, cards and other items for boxes to send to local troops for the holidays. The support was overwhelming and extremely appreciated and more than 50 boxes were shipped to two local soldiers and their units. One of those soldiers was Lance Corporal Mark Rhyne. How can a community come together and support these men, but a company can’t give a mother a break to talk to her son for a few minutes? Where’s the patriotism? Where’s the compassion?

The Hilton Stone American Legion Post #279 Auxiliary Unit