ONAWAY - The owner of Moran Iron Works was recognized for his support of an employee and his family while he's deployed overseas.
Tom Moran received the Department of Defense Patriot Award Friday for exceeding requirements to support Staff Sgt. Matthew Cherrette and his family while he's serving in Afghanistan, Peter Pallas, Michigan Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve Ombudsman director, said. Aside from his company's assistance by extending benefits while Cherrette is overseas, Moran has been in contact with his family and helped in numerous other ways.
Cherrette's wife, Heather, lives in Rogers City with their two children, Norah and Mason. His brother, Chad, also works for Moran Iron Works.
Tom Moran, owner of Moran Iron Works in Onaway, received the Department of Defense Patriot Award Friday for exceeding requirements to support Staff Sgt. Matthew Cherrette and his family while he’s serving in Afghanistan. Cherrette nominated Moran for the award. On hand for the ceremony were, left to right, Rep. Peter Pettalia; Cherrette’s parents Vicky and Chum Cherrette; his brother and sister-in-law, Chad and Virginia Cherrette; Moran; and Peter Pallas of the Department of Defense.
In his nomination letter, Cherrette said he picked Moran because he goes "above and beyond" supporting the nation's military and veterans. He cited the business owner's involvement in the community and the level of support he's given to Cherrette and his family.
"Tom even went to the trouble of contacting my commanding officer to find out what type of soldier I was and shared it with my fellow employees on my final day at work before being mobilized for deployment to Afghanistan," his letter reads. "On numerous occasions Tom has told me that he is proud of me and even said if my family has any problems to contact them at work for support in any areas,"
Marilyn Kapp, Moran Iron Works' public relations officer, said Moran is "extremely humble" about getting the award, and thinks of his company as a family.
Indeed, while the award will go to Moran specifically, he said he can't accept it only for himself. The entire company deserves the honor, especially the administrators and supervisors, he said.
"A lot of the times I have my head down all day," he said. "They are the ones that say, 'We should send Matt a card,' then a card appears and everybody signs it."
Cherrette's treatment is no different than what the company would do for anyone else in the same situation, Moran said.
"He was a part of our team, and he still is," he said. "We think that he's a representative of us, and doing his part, really, to protect our country. We want to be behind him, all of us."
Footage of the award ceremony, which was filmed by a news crew from the area, will be forwarded to the Armed Forces Radio and Television Network, Pallas said. It could potentially be broadcast in Afghanistan.
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5688.