MT. PLEASANT — It often takes more than just family and friends to support the men and women who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) recently recognized Mt. Pleasant’s Christina Teeter on Friday, Nov. 22 for her understanding, flexibility and compassion for Walmart employees who are currently serving or have served in the armed forces.
Teeter, the manager of the Autocare Center, was surprised with a small award ceremony last Friday afternoon. As co-workers and family members gathered at the tail-end of the store, Teeter continued to try to piece together what exactly was going on.
The manager was nominated for the ESGR Patriotic Employer Award by her employee, Jordon B. Norton, who is part of the 224th Brigade Engineer Battalion of the Iowa Army National Guard.
Norton, who has worked with Teeter throughout his four years at Walmart, said he wanted to recognize her because of how understanding she was whenever he was called to serve.
“She never made me feel bad or insecure about having to ask her for time off,” Norton said.
Norton also explained that Teeter is incredibly supportive of him and the armed forces in other ways as well, making donations to groups like Family Readiness Group, who support families of servicemen and servicewomen while they are deployed, and being understanding with other employees who are also part of the reserve or guard, or are veterans.
“I was gone for about a year, about a year and a half ago and in the time after that, in the past year, I’ve been gone sixty days,” he said, at which time Teeter helped save his position for when Norton returned.
“She deserves this recognition for always being so flexible with me being gone and getting called to serve every other week for the past two months. She hasn’t once made a mess about it or made me feel like my service was hindering the shop,” he added.
John Mikelson, the Area 6 Chair for Iowa ESGR, presented the award to Teeter and explained that those who serve in the guard and reserve “can’t do what they do without the support of their employers, knowing they have a job to come home to, knowing they’re not going to get fired or denied a job because they’re defending the country.”
In an email recognizing Teeter, Iowa’s ESGR Chair, Mark Hennessey also noted that “supportive employers like Christina … is vital to the success of our mission and the defense of this nation. Our Guard and Reserve members could not perform their military duty without knowing their civilian employers support them 100 percent.”
After receiving the short ceremony, Teeter, who wasn’t aware of either the award or ESGR, remarked that the recognition “means everything.”
“I’m glad we can help them out and let them serve our country,” she said.
“They’re here to serve us, they take care of us and do what we need them to do so we obviously want to support them and do everything that we can for them,” Teeter concluded.