Employee recognizes business owner for supporting SC National Gu - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Employee recognizes business owner for supporting SC National Guard

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It's easy to see that the people who work for Irene Brotherton enjoy their jobs. One employee, in particular, was grateful to Brotherton for hiring her.

"This has been my blessing," said Cheryl Kellum, a sergeant with the South Carolina National Guard. She has served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

She says some times, employers are hesitant to hire guard members because of their erratic schedules.

"I think sometimes they're leery of hiring people because we may get called at short notice, but we're still very qualified and we're very thankful for the employers that actually do support us."

To show her gratitude, Kellum nominated Brotherton for the Patriotic Employer award, honoring employer support of the guard and reserve. Brotherton received the award at a surprise presentation at Atlantic-Pacific Express.

"She has been a good employer," Kellum said. "She is very understanding of the fact, you know, sometimes I get called away during the week. Some people don't realize reservists, it's just one weekend a month, two weeks a year, but it doesn't mean its only Saturday and Sunday. She's just been very understanding and accommodating to the military service."

"When I hired Cheryl, I was looking a veteran because I felt it was the right thing to do," Brotherton said.

"I just wanted to hire a veteran because I felt like the training and the discipline that they had received while in the service would carry over into our business, because our business is very detail-oriented and it takes a person with a lot of discipline to do the work that I ask everyone to do."

Brotherton said she is humbled by the honor.

"I never want any attention for anything I've done or did on the community and to get an award of this nature is -- it is heartwarming. I really appreciate it and I'm very flattered by it."

"I've been excited about this for her all day because she really does deserve it," Kellum said.

"I'm blessed," Brotherton said. "I thank God every day that I have my employees...I'm a very blessed woman and I give God the glory."

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