According to Rear Admiral (Ret) Lee Metcalf, ESGR Missouri Chair, "The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation's call to serve. Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's National Guard and Reserve units."
The awards presentation ceremony was conducted during a meeting of safety and security personnel. The awards ceremony was held at Cox South, 3801 S. National, Springfield, Mo. Colonel (Ret.) Steven Vanderhoof, ESGR Area 4 Chair, officiated the ceremony, made opening remarks, and thanked the hospital for providing jobs to Guard and Reserve members. The official presentation was conducted by Captain Nathan Smith, S-4 Officer, 935th Aviation Support Battalion, 1400 N. Fremont, Springfield, Mo., Missouri Army National Guard.
Clay, Schmidly, and Mahan were nominated for being highly supportive of the military National Guard and Reserve Service employees and their family members by James “Randy” Wertz. Wertz is a Sergeant, assigned to Company A, 935th Aviation Battalion, 1076 E. Highland, Aurora, Mo., Missouri Army National Guard. Wertz was not able to attend the award presentation ceremony. He is now employed as a police officer with the Aurora Police Department. Wertz spoke highly of his former employer and wanted them recognized in a formal awards presentation ceremony to show his appreciation for their patriotism and support of his military duties and career. Without the support of his civilian employer it would be literally impossible to be a member of the Guard.
As the 1.3 million members of the National Guard and Reserve continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions with America's borders and beyond, ESGR will continue to be the resource for the employers of citizen warriors. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between employers and service members. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at www.esgr.mil, or by calling (Steven Brothers at 573-638-9500 x7730).