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News > DOD, Special Operators recognize Florida County with Patriot Award
Story at a Glance
 Citizen Airman secures the beach in the nation's shark-bite capitol as a Beach Patrol Officer
 Master Sgt. Joe Traska is also Air Force Reserve pararescueman with the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.
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My boss is a patriot
Air Force Reservists Chief Master Sgt. Doug Kestranek (left) and Master Sgt. Joe Traska (right), pararescueman, 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., pose with Capt. Scott Petersohn, Volusia County Beach Patrol Deputy Chief, June 14, Flag Day, after Petersohn accepted a Patriot Award from them for his flexibility and support for Traska's employment with the county as a beach patrol officer. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Cathleen Snow)
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DOD, Special Operators recognize Florida County with Patriot Award

Posted 6/15/2012   Updated 6/15/2012 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Cathleen Snow
920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

6/15/2012 - DELTONA, Fla -- For one Citizen Airman, securing the beach in the nation's shark-bite capitol as a beach patrol officer is one of two jobs he juggles. Master Sgt. Joe Traska also secures his nation as an Air Force Reserve pararescueman with the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.

Serving two masters is just one of the challenges Air Force Reservists like him face due to their civilian and military employment commitments, which is why he, and the DoD, publicly recognized Volusia County for their patriotism and support to the nation on Flag Day, June 14, during a county council meeting.

Alongside Traska were both his military and civilian supervisors, and Mr. Garfield Jones, a DoD agency representative of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).
"It's like having divorced parents, they both love me and want me," Said Traska to the council while standing at the podium, but there has to a spirit of cooperation and communication for it to work. "I want to serve you and my nation to the best of my ability."

As an Air Force special operator, it's vital that Traska deploys overseas periodically to apply his skills as an elite military trauma specialist to coalition forces injured on the battlefield, said Chief Master Sgt. Doug Kestranek, Traska's military superintendent. "You allow him to do that. And for that, I thank you."

"Giving unlimited support to Soldiers, Sailors Marines and Airmen, skyrockets their productivity and work performance for both the nation and their place of employment," said Jones. Adding that, "Volusia County joins the ranks of 44 other counties out of 67, which have been recognized with Patriot Awards."

On hand to accept the award was Capt. Scott Petersohn, beach patrol deputy chief and Traska's other supervisor. "He actually does more for us than we do for him," said Petersohn. "When Joe is on duty, I don't have to worry."

According to Judge Gregory P. Holder, Florida ESGR Chair, "The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation's call to serve. 

Volusia County Beach Patrol Chief was nominated for being highly supportive of the National Guard and Reserve Service by his Air Force Reserve Component employee. Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's Guard and Reserve units," said Holder.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. For more information about ESGR Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 800-336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil.

The 920th Rescue Wing is combat search and rescue wing. For more information on the 920th Rescue Wing follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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