(Lincoln, NE)- Sergeant Dave Hayes, a 20-year veteran of the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) currently assigned to the Executive Protection Detail has been honored with the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), “Patriot Award.”
The award was presented during a Friday, March 26, 2010 ceremony attended by Governor Dave Heineman, Colonel Bryan Tuma, and Lieutenant Colonel Dave Sankey, representatives from Nebraska Army National Guard, ESGR, retired Trooper Eli Valenzuela and members of the NSP Executive Protection Detail. The ceremony was held in the Governor’s Hearing Room at the State Capitol.
Sergeant Hayes was nominated for the award by retired Trooper Eli Valenzuela, a 25-year veteran of the Nebraska State Patrol, who before his retirement was assigned to the Executive Protection Detail. Valenzuela has served as a member of the Nebraska Army National Guard for 30-years and currently serves as the Nebraska State Command Sergeant Major. He has been on active duty in both Bosnia and Iraq, as well as state activity duty for a variety of state emergencies.
In his nomination letter, Valenzuela expressed his gratitude for the flexibility and support provided to him by Sgt. Hayes. Valenzuela wrote, “Sgt. Hayes has always given me the time off to attend drills, as well as additional military obligations commensurate to the rank that I hold. His support was clearly displayed when our Guard unit was called to state active duty in support of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, and I had to leave for three weeks with hardly any notice at all.”
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Chairman Retired Major Walt Zink, presented the award to Sgt. Hayes.
The “Patriot Award” given on behalf of the Department of Defense recognizes deserving employers whose support and goodwill are important to retaining highly skilled and qualified members of the Guard and Reserve.