Barta Receives Patriot Award

Michael Barta

Michael Barta

Michael Barta, Johnston High School business teacher and head coach for the Johnston Dragons baseball team, has been awarded the Patriot Award from the Iowa Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office.

The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support citizen service members through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed. Patriot Awards are issued through the Department of Defense and are presented to recipients by ESGR volunteers.

Barta was nominated for the award by 2d Lieutenant Peter Broome (Iowa Air National Guard), the Dragons sophomore team head coach and varsity assistant coach. Broome has served as a coach for one year with the baseball teams, in which time he was called up for two separate military missions, thus taking him away from coaching duties, as well as his personal and professional life. During his service, Barta covered his coaching duties. Broome said this kind of reception and support has made a tremendous impact on his life.

“Michael makes every effort to stay in contact with me while I’m away, but not just to talk baseball,” Broome said. “He has gone above and beyond the call to support me, my family, and the Iowa Air National Guard; it’s been unwavering during the past year. I can say with absolute certainty that I owe part of my success in the military over the past year to Michael Barta and the loyalty and support he has given, and continues to give, to me and my family.”

Barta was given the Patriot Award on January 21 by Major Jon Harbart of the Iowa Air National Guard and Jim Freese, Iowa Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

“Supportive employers like Johnston High School are vital to the success of our mission and the defense of this nation,” said Mark Hennessey, Iowa ESGR state chair.  “Our Guard and Reserve members could not perform their military duty without knowing their civilian employers support them 100 percent.”

Barta Patriot award

Michael Barta, center, accepts his Patriot Award from Maj Jon Harbart, Iowa ANG and Jim Freese, ESGR.