by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
Patrick Belmer, the pre-owned car manager at Young Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC in Owosso, was honored with the prestigious Patriotic Employer award from the Secretary of Defense/Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). A special presentation was held at Young on M-21 on Friday, Feb. 7. Angela Shelby, the employer outreach director for ESGR, was on hand to present the award to Belmer following an early Friday morning sales meeting.
The award was created to recognize employers who have continuously offered support to National Guard and Reserve service members. To receive this honor, an employer must be nominated by a service member. The Patriotic Employer award is designated for an individual supervisor or employer and not for a staff or larger organization. Belmer was nominated by Chad Rings, a sales professional and military service member, who works for Belmer at the longtime Owosso dealership.
Staff Sgt. Rings has a lengthy list of medals and honors including two Army Accommodation medals, seven Army achievement medals, three Good Conduct medals, a National Defense medal, three campaign stars for Iraq, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary medal, a Global War on Terrorism medal, four overseas ribbons and more. He has served twice in Iraq and once in Kuwait, and currently holds the title of Chemical and Biological Radiological Nuclear Specialist with the U.S. Army/MI National Guard. Rings explained that every year service members nominate an “employer that goes above and beyond to support them and their commitment to the state and nation’s calling. I nominated Patrick Belmer because ever since I’ve worked here, he’s always been fully supportive of my service to the National Guard. He never had any questions as to why I had to be gone. He bends over backwards to make sure that my employment here doesn’t interfere with my employment in the National Guard.”
Shelby explained that it is the goal of ESGR to “create a culture of military service that is valued by civilian employers throughout the U.S.” She emphasized that Belmer met the guidelines of one of their core programs as an employer providing support during times of peace, crisis and war. “Instead of resentment or being viewed as an undo burden, you delivered to him the peace of mind one needs about their employment. Therefore, you have allowed him to focus without distraction on his civilian soldier tasks that serve to protect our country,” she said. Overall, Belmer received the Patriot Award Certificate, the Statement of Support and a pin.
“May God bless America,” shared Shelby.