Fort Sam Houston Commissary worker selected DeCA’s nominee for DOD 2020 Outstanding Disabled Employee of the Year
FORT LEE, Va. – Whenever Fort Sam Houston Commissary customers shop for bananas they have Marcus Montague, DeCA’s nominee for a 2020 Defense Disability Award, to thank for the quality and quantity they have to choose from.
The legally blind Montague, who has worked at the commissary for six years, was nominated in May for the 2020 Annual Secretary of Defense Awards for Components and Individuals. An Oct. 1 awards ceremony is scheduled at the Pentagon to recognize award recipients. The awards support DOD’s long-standing goal of 2-percent employment participation of individuals with targeted disabilities within the DOD civilian workforce.
Shortly after the nomination was announced, the store held a ceremony of its own to recognize Montague’s accomplishment. He thanked everyone who had a role in his nomination. It was well-deserved, according to Store Director Aretha Queen.
“Marcus gives every valued patron who comes into our store his undivided attention and strives to ensure they have the best shopping experience,” Queen said. “He’s a testament to all, showing that you can achieve anything with hard work and perseverance.”
While Montague regularly works in the produce department helping stock a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, his primary responsibility is to maintain the bananas throughout the sales floor. This can include cross merchandising banana displays in other departments. Queen noted he is “exceptionally attentive” to all his job duties.
“Sometimes once the task is completed he comes to get me and we walk the sales floor together,” she said. “The pride that he has in his job is heartwarming and makes me proud knowing he is an integral part of our team.”
Montague said he likes being part of “the team” and especially enjoys interacting with his fellow employees. The feeling is mutual.
“He comes to work every day with a smile on his face and a ‘how are you doing today’ conversation,” Queen said, calling him an example of how to overcome life’s challenges. “His positive attitude and demeanor brightens the day of his produce department teammates.”
Outside the commissary, Montague is active in his church and the Special Olympics. He also enjoys following the San Antonio Spurs basketball team and the San Antonio Football Club soccer team.
Photo caption: Marcus Montague is DeCA’s nominee for a 2020 Defense Outstanding Disability Award. (Photo: Sue Montague)
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.