Lawn award

At the presentation of the Department of Defense Patriotic Employer Award at Petree Arbor Lawn & Landscape are Brad Petree (from left), who won the award; Petree crew foreman Scott Hembree; April Petree, who also won the award, and ESGR volunteer Don Edmands, who presented it in August at the business in Louisville.

Brad and April Petree were both honored with the Department of Defense Patriotic Employer Award in recognition for “contributing to national security and protecting liberty and freedom.”

It’s an honor not often awarded to a husband and wife team, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve said in a news release following the ceremony held at Petree Arbor Lawn & Landscape in Louisville.

The Petrees received the ESGR Patriotic Employer Awards for their support of Staff Sgt. Louis Vandergriff, 465th Engineering Company, U.S. Army Reserves, Birmingham, Alabama.

The awards were presented by Knoxville ESGR volunteer Don Edmands in August.

Vandergriff, who is serving overseas on active duty, is a certified arborist who is employed by Petree.

The ESGR shared the nomination letter that Vandergriff wrote to explain his appreciation for his employers cooperating so that he can serve his country.

“Regardless of my duty requirements or assignment duration, Brad and April Petree are both more than supportive to myself and my family. They are always able and willing to assist my family while I am performing my military duties, and allow me to have greater peace of mind leaving my family for extended periods of time. The support that they provide myself and my family is invaluable, and allows me to perform my duties with greater focus, energy and proficiency. They value service to country and have employed several service members over the years with greater flexibility to our often unpredictable schedules.”

In recognition of Vandergriff’s current deployment in service to his country, the Petrees have placed yellow ribbons on the sign at the business’ entrance.

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