MARTIN, Tenn. – Tom Eskew and the UT Martin Department of Mathematics and Statistics go above and beyond the call of duty to support “Citizen Warriors.” For this, they received a Patriot Award in December from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).
According to the ESGR, Eskew and other department members “reflect the efforts made to support Citizen Warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off before and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.”
While Dr. Steve Elliott, associate professor, nominated Eskew for the Patriot Award, Eskew said he did not act alone in covering classes for the Army National Guard lieutenant colonel. “It was all of us,” said Eskew, an instructor and acting department chairman.
Elliott, who has been deployed twice since he has been at UT Martin, said his colleagues in the department are like a family for his family.
“This institutional support is nice, but it is the individuals in my department who held a baby shower for my wife, called to ask if she and my sons were OK, and shouldered my work while I was gone.
“When I am away for a three-day drill or for a conference, they cover my classes,” Elliott said. “When I return from deployments, they welcome me back with no resentment. The entire department is good to me.”
Elliott was last deployed with the Army from June 2012 until June 2013.
Lt. Terry Buckley with the ESGR presented Eskew with the award.