Patrick Richardson

Managing Editor

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department was recently nominated for the Freedom Award, which is the Department of Defense’s highest award given to employers for outstanding support of employees serving in the National Guard and Reserves.

 Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said he was honored his department was among the 56 Kansas employers nominated.

Groves said he was surprised  and honored by the nomination.

“I was surprised just by being nominated,” he said. “It’s an honor just to be up for it.”

Groves said Deputy Keith Marshall who has been a deputy since May 2007, put the department up for the award.

Marshall is currently serving in the Air National Guard and is stationed in Texas. Marshall is currently the only guard or reserve member employed by the sheriff’s department.

Groves said it’s important for employers to support their military employees.

“I have great admiration for the men and women who voluntarily support and defend the nation,” he said. “With the sacrifices they make doing that the last thing they need to be worried about is their job back home.”

According to a release from the sheriff’s department, the 2011 recipients will be announced this summer and will be honored in Washington D.C. on September 22, 2011 at the 16th Annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony.

Last year’s award recipients met privately with United States Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.