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Department of Defense honors White River Valley Electric Cooperative’s CEO, Chris Hamon

Branson, Missouri – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the Department of Defense, recognized Chris Hamon, CEO, White River Valley Electric Cooperative, Branson, Mo., with a Patriot Award in recognition of his extraordinary support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

At 10:00 a.m. on August 4th, the Patriot Award presentation ceremony was conducted at an all-employee meeting conducted at the offices of White River Valley Electric Cooperative, 2449 State Highway 76 East, Branson, Missouri.

Colonel John Hathcock, U.S. Army (Ret.), local Missouri representative for ESGR, officiated the ceremony, and explained how important it is for civilian employers to support their Guard and Reserve members.  The “official” presentation was conducted on behalf of  the Secretary of Defense, and he congratulated the new “Patriot” award winner.

Chris Hamon was nominated by Roger G. “Grant” Hulland, a White River Valley Electric employee, for being highly supportive of the employees in  National Guard and Reserve and their families.  Ross is a Sergeant First Class in the 688th Engineer Company, United States Army Reserve, Harrison, AR.

Hulland asked that the Patriot Award be presented in a formal award ceremony, and was presented during an “all employee” meeting which included over 100 employees witnessing the event.

Hulland was mobilized two times and deployed to Iraq.  During his employment at White River Valley Electric Cooperative, Hulland was always reinstated with advancement, longevity, vacation time, and raises, as if he had never left. All the employees of White River Valley Electric Cooperative supported Hulland and his entire unit with care packages while they were deployed. They also took great care of his family while he was deployed.  The employees “adopted” his family for Christmas, took care of home repairs and provided a computer (with SKYPE) so he could communicate with his family.  Hulland is “extremely grateful for all the support my employer and fellow employees provided for my family and me”.

According to Rear Admiral (Ret.) Lee Metcalf, ESGR Missouri Chair, “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. Supportive employers and supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve units.”

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 advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between employers and service members. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at, or by calling (Steven Brothers at 573-638-9500 x7730).

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