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Mark Risse accepting his U.S. Patriot Award from Joel Seymour

UGA Marine Extension receives third U.S. Patriot Award

UGA Marine Extension director Mark Risse is the organization’s third staff member this year to be honored by the U.S. Department of Defense with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot A

Writer: Erin Geoffroy

Athens, Georgia – UGA Marine Extension director Mark Risse is the organization’s third staff member this year to be honored by the U.S. Department of Defense with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award. The award recognizes extraordinary efforts to provide a supportive work environment to National Guard or Reserve members through measures such as flexible scheduling, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence.

Risse was nominated by Clayton Holloway, maintenance foreman at Marine Extension’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium on Skidaway Island. Holloway also is a master sergeant in the Georgia Air National Guard and is currently serving a six-month deployment overseas.

“Dr. Risse is not only understanding, but highly supportive of my military commitment,” Holloway wrote in his letter nominating Risse for the award.

The award was presented to Risse by Joel Seymour, Northeast Area Vice Chair of the Georgia Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Seymour works for Southeastern Power Administration and serves on the City Council in Elberton, Georgia. He delivers awards and honors for the Guard and Reserve throughout Northeast Georgia on his days off.

The reserve components of the United States Armed Forces comprise almost half of the nation’s overall military force. Members of the National Guard and Reserve serve voluntarily to respond to their community and country in times of need. Members traditionally perform at least 39 days of military duty per year and serve as active duty in times of war or national emergencies.

The Patriot Award serves to recognize employers who support these efforts and increase public understanding of the essential role that the Guard and Reserve has in preserving national security.