The U.S. Department of Defense presented Framingham State University Police Sgt. Robert Barrette with the Patriot Award, for going out of his way to support fellow University Officer Kristen Walls.
Walls, a member of the Framingham State University patrol division, is a First Lieutenant with the Massachusetts Army National Guard, Delta Company 223 Military Intelligence Battalion. She is currently deployed in support of Operation Joint Guardian, a NATO mission in Kosovo.
She nominated Sgt. Barrette for the Patriot Award, which recognizes efforts made by supervisors to support enlisted guardsman or reservists through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.
“I nominated Sgt. Barrette not only because he supports my military career, but he is also an excellent leader,” Walls wrote via e-mail. “He puts himself before others and does what he can to make our working environment enjoyable. He sets the example at work and many strive to be as good an officer as he is.”
Walls said she often has to take days off – sometimes at the last minute – for required drill training and other service related to her military responsibilities. She said Sgt. Barrette has never made an issue of this, despite the fact that it can make it very difficult to put together the shift schedule for the department.
“If he wasn't able to get a shift of mine filled he would step up and work it so that no one in the department would get forced to work the shift,” she wrote. “He has always gone out of his way to support my military career.”
Rick Bedell, a member of the military’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) organization presented Barrette with the award on the university campus.