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National Guard presents Patriot Award to West

April 3, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

Once a month, Jeff Stokes commutes to Guard drills.

No problem? you say.

Well try a 450-mile trip - each way - to the 1742nd Transportation Company at Camp Rapid in Rapid City, S.D.

Article Photos

Kevin West of GKN Armstrong Wheels of Estherville, middle, Wednesday was presented with the Patriot Award in recognition of his support of employees who serve in the Iowa National Guard and Reserve. Presenting the award were Tom Manley, left, Area 3 chair, and Bob Seigel, right, awards chair.
EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

It's that sort of commitment by Jeff that makes him a hero in a lot of people's eyes. And it was helping him to meet that commitment that brought Kevin West of GKN Armstrong Wheels the Patriot Award Wednesday.

The Iowa Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the Department of Defense, announced Wednesday that West of GKN was honored with the Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of its employee who serves in the Iowa National Guard and Reserve.

According to Dick Rue, Iowa ESGR state chair, "The Patriotic Employer 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. West was nominated for being highly supportive of the National Guard by his employee. Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's National Gaurd 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 will continue to be the resource for the employers of citizen warriors. ESGR provides education, consultation and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Program and volunteer opportunities is available at, or by calling (800) 294-6607, Ext. 2757, 2742 or 4192.



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