Jan. 6, 2010 | “They rock,” said Michelle Miller, who works on the staff in the UAMS Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, of her managers and their support of her service in the Arkansas Air National Guard.
Her appreciation for Marsha Ballard, associate vice chancellor of development, and Linda Stone, senior director of development operations, led her to recently nominate the two for Patriot Awards from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The awards, presented Dec. 18, recognized the “extraordinary support” of an employee serving in the Guard.
Miller, a 10-year member of the Guard, is a technical sergeant with the Joint Force Headquarters of the Guard. Though she has not been deployed overseas, her missions – including deployments during Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks – involved administrative and communications work at the Guard headquarters in place of members sent to those locations.
“The Patriot Award was created 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 service,” said Richard Green, program specialist for the Arkansas Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense.
Miller said her UAMS managers are always supportive of her service and understand of the demands of the time away from work. “I thank them for how very special they are and for just being so incredible to those of us who serve,” she said.
“We are very proud of Michelle’s dedication both to her service in the Guard and her work at UAMS,” Ballard said. “We are glad to support Michelle and UAMS is committed to supporting all of its employees who serve in the military.”
Miller credited her Guard service to deciding at 30 she just needed to do something. Recalling a great uncle who served alongside Gen. Dwight Eisenhower during World War II, she looked toward the military as a path to service.
In October, Chief Information Officer Kari Cassel and Amy Watkins, a manager in the patient business services office at UAMS, received Patriot Awards based on nominations from employees in their departments.
At the same time, UAMS was presented with the agency’s “Above and Beyond” Award for supporting employees who also served in the military.
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, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve agency will continue to be the resource for the employers of citizen warriors. The agency recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of the law, and resolves conflict through mediation.