After four years away serving his country, Staff Sergeant Gene Baker recently returned to his job at Western Extralite, Kansas City, Mo., where he had worked for three years before the reserves called him to active duty. The support shown by his employer upon his return moved Baker to nominate Western Extralite for a Service Member Patriot Award.

The Patriot Award recognizes employers nominated by a Guardsman or Reservist employee for support provided directly to the nominator. Baker recently returned from a year in Qatar, where he led a squad responsible for base and convoy security. Prior to deployment, he was assigned to serve as an instructor in military science and physical training for the ROTC and National Guard programs at area universities. He recently returned to his position as an account manager at Western Extralite.

The Patriot Award was presented by retired trooper and Air Force Office of Special Investigations Agent Bob Schure at a ceremony on Feb. 12. Western Extralite Principle John Isenberg accepted the award on behalf of himself and his brother, Western Extralite President Tom Isenberg. The award ceremony was held at one of Western Extralite's St. Louis locations. The full-service electrical and datacomm products distributor has 17 locations across Missouri and Kansas.