News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office
Posted: July 1, 2016, 8:40 a.m.
The Department of Defense announced on June 30 that the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office will receive the Department of Defense's Freedom Award -- the highest honor given to employers for their support of employees in the National Guard and Reserve forces.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office was one of 15 employers selected from across the nation to be given this award out of 2,424 nominations received.
"These 15 employers have distinguished themselves through their outstanding support of our guard and reserve members and their families," said Defense Secretary Ash Carter. "Without the unfaltering support of employers like them, the men and women of the National Guard and reserve would not be able to fulfill their vital roles in our national security strategy.
Sheriff Craig Roberts has taken the lead to ensure deputies in his department serving in the military receive all the help they need while on a deployment and transitioning back into civilian life when they return from overseas. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office launched the Military Employee Support Program in July of 2014. The program offers financial and logistical support for employees and their families during a deployment.
"We are honored to receive the Freedom Award," said Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts. "Supporting our men and women who serve in the military is extremely important. I know the tremendous sacrifice they make and we will continue to try to ease the burden at home for their families and let them know they are not forgotten during deployments."
Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputy John Zagyva serves with the Oregon National Guard and said the extra support he received from his employer helped tremendously.
"As a soldier and deputy, I can tell you there is no place I would rather work," said Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputy John Zagyva. "The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office went above and beyond to support my family while I was serving overseas, from mowing our lawn to sending care packages every need was met."
Sheriff Craig Roberts supported legislation passed last year that allows public agencies at the state and local level to supplement the military pay received by employees who serve in the National Guard or Reserves. This allows public employers to make up the difference in pay while on a deployment if the employees military salary is less than that of their civilian job.
Sheriff Craig Roberts will travel to Washington D.C. later this summer to receive the award from the Dept. of Defense.
The Freedom Award was established in 1996, and since then 220 employers have received the award.
Sergeant Brian Jensen
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office