One Bon Secours employee received a special honor last month.
The Department of Defense presented Jeffrey Wnek with the Patriot Award for supporting employee participation in the U.S. National Guard and Reserve Forces. A representative from the department surprised Jeffrey with a special plaque and pin at the St. Francis Downtown Emergency Department. The ceremony was arranged by Jeffrey’s fellow employees.
“We support employers who get it,” explains Jack Bowdle. “We need more of those who understand when their employees need to go away for reserve duty or guardsman duty.”
Jack is a volunteer for an agency within the Department of Defense called ESGR – the Employer Support of Guard and Reserve. It was started in 1972 and supports employees who are reservists.
The United States has relied heavily on guard and reserve service members since entering continuous operations more than 14 years ago. According to Jack, nearly 40 percent of people on active duty right now are either guardsmen or reservists.
Employer support enhances retention rates in the Armed Forces and, as a result, strengthens the country’s national security. The ESGR grants a series of awards each year to recognize employers who support their employees in these efforts.
“These guardsmen and reservists need to go to drill once a month and then for two weeks, typically in the summer. They need to go through military training so it’s very important to have employers who get that,” says Jack.
Jeffrey, a nursing director, was nominated for the honor by one of the nurses he manages, Sgt. Ryan Cummins.
“It wasn’t too long ago I had to take that long walk to Greta’s office and explain you’ll be seeing me in six to nine months,” Jeffrey says, referring to his boss. “I believe it actually ended up being nine or 10 months. She made that commitment to me, to stay with me and contact me throughout my deployment so I just want to offer that to all my staff as well.”
At Bon Secours, we are so proud of our veteran employees who exemplify our mission in the work they do every day. Learn more about the vision and values of our ministry.