Fred Fletemeyer Company to Be Honored for Guard, Reserve Support
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2006 The Defense Department is honoring the Fred Fletemeyer Company, a small family-owned construction business in Colorado Springs, Colo., with its most prestigious award for employers who support National Guard and reserve troops.
The Fred Fletemeyer Company is among 15 employers across the United States named as winners of the 2006 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award publicly recognizes employers for exceptional support beyond the requirements of federal law. Employees who also serve in the Guard or reserve nominate companies for the honor.
Navy Reserve Senior Chief Petty Officer Bill Feigt, a Fletemeyer employee, nominated his company for the award for the support it offered during his deployment to Iraq and as he remains on active duty being treated for injuries received, according to Syl Peixotto, who describes herself as the company’s “chief cook and bottle washer.”
Peixotto pointed to Fred Fletemeyer, the company president, as the driving force behind its philosophy for supporting its Guard and reserve members. Although he never served in the military himself due to medical disqualifiers, Fletemeyer is a stalwart supporter of men and women in uniform, she said.
His attitude prevails throughout the 20-person company, she said. “It all comes down to patriotism. These guys are doing things that need to be done, and our job is to support them as they do them,” Peixotto said.
During its Guard and reserve members’ deployments, the company continued to pay their full salary for a time, then later, a pay differential to make up the difference between their military and civilian pay. It also continued company benefits throughout the deployments.
But the company’s support went further, with frequent care packages containing “anything legal,” from crayons and coloring books to favorite food items, and regular e-mails, Peixotto said. In addition, company employees checked in on the activated servicemembers’ families to ensure they were OK and to see what help they might need.
“They’re pretty self-sufficient, but we made sure they knew we were here to help them if they needed us,” she said.
Fletemeyer and his family will travel here later this month receive the Freedom Award at a Sept. 21 ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
Bob Hollingsworth, executive director for the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, praised the Fred Fletemeyer Company and other recipients of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
“On behalf of the men and women serving in the National Guard and reserve, I would like to congratulate these firms and thank them for their outstanding support,” he said. “By going above and beyond what is required by law, these firms set a high standard for all of America’s private and public employers.”
Then-Defense Secretary William Perry instituted the award in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The Freedom Award is the highest in a series of DoD employer awards that includes the Patriot Award, the ESGR Above and Beyond Award, and the Pro Patria Award.