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Midwest Heritage Honored by Department of Defense

posted on Monday, December 19, 2016

Midwest Heritage Honored by Department of Defense for Extraordinary Support of Employees Serving in the Iowa National Guard and Reserve

The Iowa Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the  Department of Defense, announced today Corey Lockner of Midwest Heritage was honored with a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of his employee serving in the Iowa National Guard and Reserve.

According to Steve Bogle, 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.  Corey Lockner was nominated for being highly supportive of the Iowa National Guard by his employee, LT Kevin Waldron.  Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve units.”

The following is an excerpt from LT Waldron’s submission to the Iowa ESGR. “In September 2016, I was activated to help with the floods in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Two weeks prior to being placed on State Active Orders, I had given my employer Midwest Heritage Bank a 3 week notice, I had been offered to work full-time for the Iowa National Guard.  Little did I know with only one week left of employment at the bank I was already done.  The third week I would spend helping out Iowa citizens in a fight to protect their homes from rising waters.  Giving my employer the news on a Sunday afternoon I was expecting them to just let me go early.  Instead, I was met with overwhelming support and well-wishes.  My former boss Corey Lockner was forced to drop his planned activities for the week to cover my shifts.  His willingness to be there in a time like this shows how much character he has.  His wife and two children I am sure missed him for the week.  For his outstanding support and unwavering commitment to me over the last few years, he deserves this recognition."  In response, Corey Lockner said the following about LT Waldron.  “I have the utmost respect for Kevin and all of our military men and women. Words cannot express my gratitude for all of the sacrifices they make to protect our freedoms.  It was easy for me and Midwest Heritage to accommodate Kevin’s scheduling needs knowing what he was doing would make our lives better.  Midwest Heritage values all of our military men and women.  Kevin was a leader amongst his peers and always demonstrated the highest level of professionalism and respect.  It was a privilege to work with him over the years and see him grow not only with Midwest Heritage, but with the National Guard as well.  When he decided to make a change in his professional career, I was proud to hear he was using the knowledge he gained from Midwest Heritage and going full time with the National Guard.”

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within the Department of Defense.  Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. 

ESGR provides education, consultation, and if necessary, mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees.  For more information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, call 1-800-294-6607, Ext 2757, or visit www.ESGR.mil/Iowa.