AK Steel honored for supporting military

Published 9:45 am Monday, February 14, 2011

ASHLAND, Ky. — Mark Grant, a supervisor at AK Steel’s Ashland Works, was recently honored with a Patriot Award in recognition of his extraordinary support of AK Steel employee Garry L. Kearns, who serves in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

The presentation was made by Ernest Pitt, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) area director, and Jim Purgerson, ESGR volunteer area employer outreach director.

AK Steel Ashland Works General Manager Phil Fultz also was on hand and thanked for his support of Guard and Reserve employees by Pitt.

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The Kentucky Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is the Commonwealth’s unit of the national ESGR organization, which is an agency of the Department of Defense.

“The Patriot 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,” according to Pitt, who is an ESGR volunteer. “Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve units.”

Kearns is a Petty Officer First Class and serves in an Expeditionary Communications Detachment, which has its headquarters in Red House, W.Va. He resides in South Point.

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 Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at www.esgr.mil.