Mortuary Affairs Specialist Amanda Weddle (left), Silver Dollar City Manger of the Merchandising Warehouse John Brown and ESGR Area Four Chair Missouri Committee retired Colonel Steve Vanderhoof.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an agency of the Department of Defense, presented Silver Dollar City Manager of the Merchandising Warehouse John Brown with the Patriot Award at a special ceremony Sept. 19.

Created by the ESGR, the Patriot Award recognizes individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who serve in the National Guard and reserves.

Brown was nominated by National Guard Reserve member and SDC Warehouse Pricer/Marker Employee Amanda Weddle for the support, respect and encouragement he provided her during her husband’s deployment as well as her decision to reenlist.

“My husband left like a year and a half ago, and he supported me when I needed to take off to get that prepared for, when I needed to see him off that day, when he flew out, and when I had my mental sadness because he was gone. He was very understanding and supportive of that,” said Weddle. “Then I mentioned I was going to reenlist, and he was very supportive of that and everything I had to do there on weekends and extra duties.”

From 2009 to 2014 Weddle served as a Mortuary Affairs Specialist, but after a few years, Weddle said she felt the need to reenlist.

“It’s been in my mind for a while. I got out originally because I had small children. So I wanted to wait until they were able to take care of themselves. So as soon as they got to that age, I’m like, I kind of miss it,” Weddle said. “I don’t feel like I’m doing all that I should be doing or all I could be doing. So I kind of regretted missing out on that last deployment. So it just felt right.”

Brown was presented the award by ESGR Area Four Chair Missouri Committee retired Col. Steve Vanderhoof at the SDC Warehouse in Hollister. Following the presentation, Brown explained why he felt it was important to support Weddle and her military endeavors. 

“We know its real important that our military people, when they are wanting to serve our country and everything, that we support them,” said Brown. “Amanda knew in her heart that she wanted to give back and reenlist and we supported her for that and thank her for her service.”

Brown also said if there are any employers out there with military personal on staff, he would like to give them some advice.

“I think that its important that they support those people that are wanting to enlist or reenlist into the service,” Brown said. “They’re doing this for our own protection and everything else, and it’s important that we support them 100 percent.”

Weddle reenlisted in Jan. and serves with the 935th Aviation Support Battalion for the Springfield Army National Guard.

“It’s quite a surprise,” said Brown. “I know the real people that deserve an award are Amanda and the other people that are enlisted in the service, but I’m appreciative to receive the award.”

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