Darlings Recognized For Supporting Soldier’s Family 

A local car dealer is being recognized for going above and beyond for one of their employees. Darling’s was there to provide support for Susan Maiden, their Human Resources Director, after her son, Specialist Andrew Chic of the Maine Army National Guard, was wounded in Afghanistan.It’s been a tough year for Specialist Chic and his family. Chic is part of the 172nd infantry and served in Afghanistan. Last May, Chic was returning to his base with some members of his unit. “We moved into an area where we expected there would be some insurgent activity, there of course was, and we were ambushed,” says Chic.The vehicle they were riding in took two direct hits from rocket propelled grenades, seriously injuring Chic. Maiden remembers when she got the news about her son. It’s a day that every parent dreads. She told her employers at Darlings her son was being transferred to Walter Reid Army Hospital in Washington. “All I can think about is my son is hurt,” she says, “and when I relayed that to John and Jay, before I knew anything about it, they’re on the phone to a travel agent booking flights for me, booking hotels for me, they’ve got a whole itinerary for me.” “I said wait, I really appreciate that you want to fly me there, but we want to drive because I had a lot of things i wanted to take down to Andy.”The folks at Darlings provided maiden with an easy pass and although she had plenty of vacation time saved, they didn’t make her use one day of it, giving her all the time she needed. Allowing her to be by her son’s side while he was on the mend. “It was the emotional support,” says Maiden, “having people taking care of you before you even ask for anything.”For that support, the Department of Defense recognized Darlings Auto Group with the Above and Beyond Patriotic Employer Award. Senator Olympia Snowe was on-hand to honor Chic, who she calls a “true American hero.” “If soldiers don’t have the love and support of the family and have the the support of the community and the employer, our nation couldn’t have the kind of service that these young people render on behalf of our country,” says Senator Snowe.Specialist Chic says it’s been a long road but he’s feeling better. “Quite well. I’ve come a long way. The level of treatment is incredible.”