Shawnee Dispatch

Shawnee receives national award for support of military

June 30, 2015

The city of Shawnee has been named as a recipient of the 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award and representatives from the city will travel to the Pentagon in August to accept the award.

Shawnee is one of only 15 recipients of this year’s award and was chosen from employers across the nation. The annual award is the Department of Defense's and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve's highest recognition given to employers for their support of National Guard and Reserve employees.

Shawnee employs members of the Army National Guard, Army Reserves, and the Kansas Air National Guard.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our community for receiving this distinct honor,” said Mayor Michelle Distler. “Those who serve and protect our country deserve our utmost respect. As a City, we are mindful of the tremendous sacrifices made by these brave men and women and we will always do everything we can to support them.”

Shawnee was selected as one of the top 30 employers from a pool of 2,960 nominations submitted earlier this year by National Guard and Reserve service members.

Shawnee and the other winners will be honored at the 20th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony on August 21 at the Pentagon. Of the fifteen winners, five are from the public sector, five are from the large companies and five are from small companies.

The City of Shawnee was nominated by Army Reservist Sgt. 1st Class Doug Simms, who is assigned to the 325th Combat Support Hospital.

Walt Frederick, state chairman for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, said the winners are presented with the awards at the Pentagon and have a chance to meet the President.

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