LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A special nomination from a U.S Army Soldier. Fran Provenzano has been given the Patriot Award. It honors employers for the support they give their employees serving in the National Guard or Reserve.
"Fran, on behalf of the Department of Defense for the men and women who serve in the National Guard or Reserve, we'd like to present you with this Patriot Award."
This award shows that you do not have to be in battle to be considered a hero.
"Wow! It is such an honor, such an overwhelming feeling, just a wonderful thing to receieve; I'm still having a hard time digesting it all and processing it," said Provenzano.
U.S. Soldier Omar Ortiz says he's lucky to work part time under Fran Provenzano, his supervisor at Gulf Coast Village.
"Fran has been there through my down times, my times of happiness, sadness, she's also supported me through times many other supervisors wouldn't be there for," Ortiz told WINK.
Fran understands the life of a solider.
"Fran, she comes from a military background, so she knows the burdens we go through every time we have to reintegrate ourselves into civilian life again."
"I know what these servicemen miss. I just want to add on a personal note, my son who is 29 was born when my husband was deployed, so I know what they miss and I know the commitment they give to our county," Provenzano said.
Which is why she strives to make the transition from military life to civilian life easy for Sergeant Ortiz.
"They have enough to worry about when they're over there, they shouldn't have to worry that their job will be there or won't be there, is the staff going to be different toward me?"