SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WREX) — Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs received the Patriot Award Friday for his dedication and support of military service men and women in the workplace.
"It really is an honor to receive, but it's also somewhat surprising because I think we just did what we're supposed to do," Frerichs said.
The Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve honored Frerichs for supporting military members in his office with flexible schedules and time off during deployment. Frerichs says all employers should recognize the special contributions made by the military.
"For those of us who stay here - those who don't put on the uniform - this is a small bit we can do to help support our country and support those citizen soldiers who are going off and being on the front line allowing us to focus on our jobs," explained Frerichs.
The Treasurer was nominated by his Chief Information Officer Joseph Daniels who is an Illinois National Guard Veteran. Sgt. Daniels is part of the 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment based out of Peoria.
"I've never had a boss that was so supportive of what we do and our mission, knowing that tomorrow I can be called up and be activated for a mission," said Daniels. "He knows that, he understands that. It's important to him that he supports this and he's vocal about it."
The Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve gives the Patriot Award to approximately 190 employers each year.