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July 27, 2011
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Command Sgt. Maj. John Sportsman, a Northwest Missouri State University employee who has been away from his job for two months on a deployment to assist with flood relief efforts in the region, paid a visit this week to his supervisor, Jim Daniels, and awarded him with the National Guard and Reserve's Patriot Award.
Sportsman, who works in Northwest's steamfitting and plumbing shop, is a member of the 1-129th Field Artillery Regiment headquartered in Maryville. Members of the 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Col. Greg Mason and Lt. John Parker, who is a 1989 Northwest alumnus, joined him for the presentation.
The award honors supervisors for their support of National Guard and Reserve members. Daniels received a Department of Defense Certificate of Appreciation and a lapel pin as well as a certificate of appreciation from the brigade.
"I'm 100 percent behind the National Guard, what they do, and I support them," Daniels said.
Sportsman has been deployed since May on a flood relief effort spanning seven counties from Atchison to Ray.
"One of the nice things about this exercise is the people being deployed now are Missouri guardsmen helping the Missouri population, and it's Missouri employers taking care of Missouri soldiers," Parker said. "It means a little bit more to us as we deal with this fight, and hopefully that's what the hometown guard brings back to the communities."
Sportsman has been employed at Northwest as a steamfitter and plumber for a total of 23 years since 1990. During that time, deployments have taken him to San Antonio, Texas, in 2005 as part of Operation Noble Eagle, to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 and to Kosovo in 2008. He also assisted in relief efforts associated with the flood affecting northwest Missouri in 1993.
"Northwest is a great supporter of the military, and I'm glad to work for them," Sportsman said.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
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