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MoDOT supervisor receives award for his support of National Guard and Reserve employees

Updated:
A Department of Defense agency gives an award to a Carthage man for his support of National Guard and Reserve employees.

Maintenance supervisor Mark Winningham has worked for MoDOT for the past 23 years.

"I really enjoy working for him," said Gena King, senior crew worker. "He's a good boss."

King, a member of the US Navy Reserve in Springfield, says Winningham is especially great to Reserve members.

"He's always worked around my military," she said. "Even on a day's notice, he's just gone above and beyond in helping me with my military."

That's why King nominated Winningham for the Patriot Award, offered by the state's Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program.

"I try to do anything I can to help our military personnel in what small way I can," said Mark Winningham, maintenance supervisor at the MoDOT location in Carthage.

The Patriot Award is given to employers across the state who exemplify extraordinary support of National Guard and Reserve members on their staff.

"It's very difficult on the employers because they have to change their schedules and because of deployments, they have to find replacements for their employees while they're gone," said Steve Vanderhoof, Area 4 Chairman for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program.

Vanderhoof says unfortunately, not all employers are as understanding about scheduling accommodations.

"The employers who go above and beyond and support that, and don't give the employee any grief over being in the military, those are really special people," he said.

People like Winningham, who see the benefit in having National Guard and Reserve members, like Gena, on staff.

"Being in the military, I know she has learned a lot about discipline, work ethics, responsibility and it carries over to the job here," Winningham said.  "She does a great job for us."

"I do my stuff in the Reserves, the same as I do here," King said. "It works hand in hand because we train almost the same way."

For more information on how you can nominate your employer for a Patriot Award, visit http://www.esgr.mil/.
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