A Letter Home From A Hard Rock Tampa Employee in Afghanistan

Pictured above in front of a bronze statue memorial of the Tampa Seminole reservation matriarch Ruby Tiger Osceola from left to right: Ronald Bush, Rena Phillips and Beth Shrigley

Sgt. Robert Shrigley, Table Games Dealer at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa (SHRT) was recently deployed to Afghanistan on a mission to serve our country. He nominated Human Resource Benefits Coordinator Rena Phillips for the Patriot Award presented by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The award is granted to an employee who provides support directly to another employee service member that is serving the National Guard or Reserve. Ronald Bush, trial lawyer and volunteer for ESGR presented the award and stated, “This award is also for employers contributing to national security and making a huge sacrifice for our country.”

Although Sgt. Shrigley was unable to present Rena with the award due to being overseas, he wrote a letter of appreciation in which his wife Beth, who is also a Table Games Dealer at SHRT, read aloud:

“As of today, I am deployed in Afghanistan fighting for the forces which defend our country and our way of life.

The journey here has been a culmination of training that I could not have completed but for the cooperation of Rena Phillips and the Seminole Hard Rock Human Resources team; in her absence, I also enjoyed the assistance of Linda Gorneault, Elizabeth Tennyson, and Donna Vertes.

I have at times requested time off due to training requirements with less than an appropriate amount of notice, yet Rena and the team have always accommodated my requests for military leave. These include:

Airborne Training at Ft Benning, GA

Protective Services Detail Training, Ft Leonard Wood, MO

Combat Life Saver Course, Ft Hood TX

These courses have prepared me for my mission in Afghanistan today and I would like to recognize Rena Phillips, in addition to the rest of the human resources team, for their contribution to the war on terror in facilitating my military readiness.

Unfortunately, I am unable to be present at the award presentation, but my wife has gladly accepted to take my place. I can think of no better person to present the award on my behalf than the one person who is the source of my commitment and strength and deals with more stress and additional work as a result of my deployment than I do personally.

Finally, I would like to thank Barbara Conde and the Law firm of Bush, Graziano, Rice and Platter for taking their time to help service members show their appreciation toward supportive employers.”

The Patriot Award was presented to 11,044 employees nationwide in the 2013 fiscal year and 345 of those were in Florida.

To learn more about the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award click here.


Patriot Award