With tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces, two Mercy Springfield supervisors accepted Patriot Awards for their efforts to support a co-worker who serves in the National Guard.
David Mardis is a Mercy neurosurgery medical assistant. He nominated his supervisors, Donni Franiak and Sarah Thomas, for the awards, which are given by a Department of Defense program called Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The Patriot Award reflects the efforts supervisors make to support citizen warriors through things like flexible schedules, time off before and after deployment, granting leaves of absences when necessary and caring for the families of those co-workers.
When Mardis is not serving patients at Mercy, he’s serving our country as a staff sergeant in the Missouri Army National Guard.
According to retired Rear Adm. 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."
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 advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between employers and service members.