Negaunee officials appropriately recognized for military support

We like a great deal of what we’re hearing these days coming out of the city of Negaunee, with improvement projects being launched and the city Downtown Development Authority getting back on its feet.

And now, another feather can go into the city’s cap, or specifically the caps worn by City Manager Nate Heffron and police Chief Pat Ketola.

That’s because the pair together have received what’s known as the Patriot Award, which recognizes individual supervisors and bosses who support a military member in pursuit of their duty.

In this case, it’s 2nd Lieutenant Adam Johnston, who has served in the U.S. Army Reserves for around seven years and as a police officer for the city of Negaunee for around one year.

The award is given out annually by an organization aptly named the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Johnson, who nominated Ketola and Heffron, is presently attending a five-month advanced Military Intelligence training school in Arizona.

The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed, a Mining Journal story on the matter noted.

One, from time to time, hears horror stories about employers and supervisors who give these type of service members a hard time. And certainly the pandemic has made everything harder for both employers and employees.

But when it comes right down to it, the nation needs Johnston and others of his ilk to excel in their military training, which helps them prepare. Ketola and Heffron are doing that and should serve as an example to others.

We applaud and salute them.


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