The Patriot Award was created by the Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have answered their nation's call to duty.
Welker was nominated by Spc. Eric Mercer, an employee for Ole Hickory Pits for eight months and who is currently serving with Company C, 1/138th Infantry Division in St. Louis.
"Dan has gone above and beyond for the Guard and myself," said Mercer. "He's personally spearheaded the hiring of several Guardsmen and always supported our call of duty."
After receiving a full-time position with the Guard, Mercer wanted to recognize Welker and Ole Hickory Pits for their commitment to the military.
"My biggest regret is not being able to work for them any longer, but I know they will continue to be some of our strongest supporters in southeast Missouri and this is the least I can do to show our appreciation," said Mercer.
The nomination was an unexpected surprise to Welker, who said he was overwhelmed with pride.
"It's such an honor," said Welker. "I've never worn a uniform but I find it important to support those who do."
Currently Ole Hickory Pits has four employees serving in the Missouri National Guard.
For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please visit www.moguard.com and our social media sites: