(WAUPACA, WI) Aug. 14, 2015 — Waupaca Foundry Inc., a Hitachi Metals Group company, received the Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Wisconsin National Guard. Supervisor Darrell Bartel was nominated for being highly supportive and respectful of his team member, Thomas Walecki while he was on active duty. Both men work at the gray iron foundry located at 406 N. Division St., Waupaca.
"It's an honor to receive this recognition, but this isn't about me," said Waupaca Foundry Core Room Foreman Darrell Bartel. "This is about the service men and women who make extraordinary sacrifices. I'm proud to give back and support our veterans however I can. And, I couldn't do this alone; it takes our entire team working together for a common goal, as well as the advocacy of Waupaca Foundry."
Walecki serves on E Company 132nd Brigade Support Battalion and served in the Iraq War from April 2009 through February 2010. Walecki has been working at Waupaca Foundry since 2014 and has been a member of the National Guard since October 2006. Nationwide, approximately 11% of the Foundry's 3,900 workers are veterans of the armed services.
The Patriot Award is supported by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an office of the Department of Defense. The ESGR's mission is to encourage employment of members of the National Guard and Reserve who bring leadership to the civilian workforce.
"We are proud to employ veterans and team members who serve in the Army National Guard and Reserves," said Joey Leonard, executive vice president of human resources. "The commitment they exhibit in times of civil emergency and natural disaster, as well as in defense of our country directly translates to leadership on the job."