Col. Richard McReynolds (far right) and Sgt. Ken Heywood (right)
present the Patriot Award to Dennis Vermillion, Scott Morris and
John Schwendener (left to right).
Post by Sarah Hilbert
Avista was awarded the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award last month in Medford, Oregon. Sgt. Ken Heywood, an Avista Medford Operations Inspector, and Col. Richard McReynolds, the Southern Oregon Area Four Chairperson with the ESGR Oregon Committee presented the award to Medford Area Coordinator John Schwendener.
The Patriot Award is an award not all employers receive or deserve. The award is given to employers who employ civilian soldiers and support them in times of deployment or annual training. Continuing benefits and salary play a major role in the success of civilian soldiers.
According to the ESGR website
, “The ESGR is a Department of Defense organization that seeks to promote a culture in which all American Employers support and value the military service of their employees.”
Heywood nominated Avista for the Patriot Award based on his experiences as a soldier in the National Guard.
“I nominated Avista because of the understanding I received when I was activated and sent to Louisiana for the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and for understanding that I may have to perform duties on short notice,” Heywood said.
“Another reason was because Avista continues a military salary and benefits, understanding that we, as soldiers don’t make a lot of money. We do this ultimate job for our country because we want to, not because we have to. In the past 21 years of my service to our state and country, I have had some employers that were less than understanding. It means a lot to have a company that understands what it means to be a civilian soldier.”
Congratulations and special thanks to Sgt. Heywood and all who have served our country.