We folks in the Security Department don’t like to call attention to ourselves. We’re happiest when protecting you, and the art, behind the scenes.

But we’re too happy about one piece of news to stay quiet: we recently received the Patriotic Employer Award from the Department of Defense, recognizing the ongoing support we’ve provided to our employees who serve in the Army National Guard or Reserves.

Veronica Bennett shows off the Patriotic Employer Award.

Veronica Bennett shows off the Patriotic Employer Award.

At the Getty we’re proud of the professionalism of our security officers, like Randall Henry, who joined the Getty on January 13, 1997.  Randall spent one weekend a month and two weeks a year training with his National Guard unit.  In May 2007, after 10 years of service to the Getty, he was activated by the Army National Guard. He was deployed to Afghanistan for a significant portion of his service time, and we were happy to welcome him back to the Getty in May 2010.  Two months later, Randall was again re-activated by the Army, and he’s once again serving our country overseas.

Randall Henry at the Getty, in his security officer's uniform

Randall at the Getty, in his security officer\’s uniform

To express his appreciation for our support of his service, Randall nominated senior scheduler Veronica Bennett—a 25-year Getty employee who’s in charge of coordinating officers’ schedules and facilitating their time away for military training and service—for the Patriotic Employer Award. The award is issued by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, or ESGR,  a Defense agency that encourages American employers to  value and assist in the military service of their employees. Veronica was presented with the award on November 18, 2010.

“It was a total surprise, really special,” Veronica told me. Randall hadn’t let on that he was nominating Veronica. Only when she read the accompanying letter did she discover that he had been responsible for the honor.

In addition to Randall, three other security officers are serving our country on active duty: Arthur Thompson has been deployed since October 11, 2004, Andrew Reams since February 5, 2007, and Jomar Shahagon since February 20, 2007.

We also have numerous former military personnel on our staff. So the next security officer you see at the Getty just might be a veteran, an Army reservist, or a member of the National Guard. We’re proud of them all.