Mingee suprised with Patriotic Employer award

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 7, 2010

NATCHEZ — Friends and colleagues gathered Tuesday to give patriotic kudos to Natchez Community Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer Esther Mingee.

The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve presented Mingee with the designation of Patriotic Employer at a surprise reception Tuesday afternoon.

Mingee was nominated by Capt. Charles Wesley, who is a deployed member of the Army Reserve and works at Natchez Community Hospital as director of surgery.

Wesley started work at Natchez Community in November and found out he would be deployed to an Army hospital in Kosovo only a short time later, Mingee said.

“He didn’t know when he took our position he would be deployed,” she said.

Wesley is serving as director of surgery at the Kosovo hospital. He had to leave Natchez Community in March for training, and his wife Yulanda Wesley said he arrived in Kosovo Monday.

Teresa White, a volunteer with the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, said when a service member is deployed both their families and employers are affected, and Mingee’s support for Wesley was why she was nominated.

“(This award) honors individual supervisors for their superior support for the guard and their activities,” she said.

Wesley decided to nominate Mingee when he attended a military ceremony a few months ago and first heard about the award, Yulanda Wesley said.

“He said, ‘I want to nominate Esther because I have only been there a short time these two months and she has been there for me and you,’” she said.

As for Mingee, she said she was surprised but honored.

“I did not know this was going to happen at all,” she said.

National Guard or Reserve members or their families must make nominations for the Patriot Award.

Nominations can be made at www.esgr.mil.