Mayor Ben McAdams and Salt Lake County Council members recognized a Salt Lake County employee for her support of the wife of a Utah Guardsman deployed to Afghanistan.
Jan Fritz, Internal Services Manager at the county’s Facilities Division was awarded the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s Patriot Award, which recognizes employers who support Guard and Reserve employees and their families.
Mayor Ben McAdams introduced Brittany Howell, a county employee and wife of a recently deployed service member, who nominated Jan (her then-supervisor) for the honor. Brittany said Jan gave her flexibility with her work schedule, in the weeks leading up to her husband’s departure so that they could be together and then attended the troops’ send off.
“My husband met Jan and was able to tell her how it made him more comfortable knowing that I’d have the support of my employer during his absence, which eased his mind about going,” said Brittany.
Kim Watts, program support technician with Utah ESGR, noted that the country has relied heavily on Guard and Reserve service members since military engagements began following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. He said the Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors and their families through a wide range of measures, including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed. The Patriot Award is for individual supervisors, rather than to an organization as a whole.
“These citizen warriors could not defend and protect us at home and abroad without the continued promise of meaningful civilian employment for themselves and their families. We are grateful to employers for their help and support,” said Watts.
Mayor McAdams said the county has worked hard to be a place of employment where Utah men and women who serve in the military are valued and supported.
“It is important that we recognize Jan and Brittany for their contribution to the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States. We can never say thank you enough for their service and sacrifice,” said McAdams.