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Patriot Award

September 26, 2023 - TCO

TCO Receives Patriot Award: A Salute to Unwavering Support for Citizen Warriors

In a touching display of gratitude and support, Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO) was recently honored with the prestigious Patriot Award. This esteemed accolade was given to TCO in honor of the practice’s unwavering commitment to employees who serve in the National Guard or Reserve and their families.

The Patriot Award, presented by the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), serves as a recognition of companies that go above and beyond in supporting our country’s citizen warriors. It acknowledges the importance of flexible schedules, time off before and after deployment, family care, and granting leaves of absence when needed.

Brandon Schomberg, a Therapy Senior Manager at TCO, nominated the practice for this commendation. Brandon’s journey with TCO spans an impressive 13 years of dedicated service to the organization.

During this time, he also answered the call to duty as a US Army Major during Operation Inherent Resolve. In 2021, along with two other TCO employees, he deployed to the Middle East, leaving behind his wife and young children. Brandon’s nomination of TCO for the Patriot Award stems from the exceptional support he received both personally and for his family during his deployment.

“TCO not only stood by my side but walked the extra mile to ensure my family was taken care of and supported while I was overseas,” Schomberg said. “Their unwavering commitment to my well-being, from the moment I received my deployment orders to my safe return home, was nothing short of extraordinary.”

From individualized support from TCO leadership to care packages from his colleagues, Brandon felt the love in a number of ways. He outlined an inspiring video TCO delivered to its deployed employees on Christmas via social media that featured well wishes from family members and TCO teammates. He says the gesture brought him to tears and meant more than he could put into words.

Upon his return, TCO donated bricks at the United Heroes League’s Heroes Monument in honor of their employees who had recently served. Brandon believes that this extraordinary level of support and recognition “made serving a little easier” and underscores the immense impact that a supportive workplace can have on military personnel and their families.

“TCO supports approximately 20 veterans within the organization across various departments,” Schomberg said. “In 2022, they introduced 80 hours of military paid time off annually, supporting annual training, drill weekends, and deployments. This initiative has been used for a total of 65 weeks, equivalent to 325 workdays, since its inception, providing a valuable resource for our military personnel within TCO.”

Peter Bartling, a Department of Defense Volunteer, was on hand in Edina to personally present TCO with the Patriot Award.

“As a Vietnam veteran, I’ve witnessed a significant shift in how our nation values and supports our military personnel,” Bartling said. “TCO’s unwavering support for our citizen warriors and their families is not only commendable but also deeply moving. It stands as a testament to the progress we’ve made in recognizing the sacrifices of those who serve our nation. TCO’s dedication sets a remarkable standard for how organizations can make a tangible difference in the lives of our modern-day heroes.”

TCO leaders, including physicians Dr. Christopher Meyer and Dr. Jeff Mair, as well as Chief Development Officer Chris Bailey, also attended the ceremony and offered up words of gratitude and support.

“At TCO, we consider it a privilege to support our employees who serve in the National Guard or Reserve,” Dr. Meyer said. “Their dedication to our country is a source of pride for us, and we are honored to provide the necessary support to make their service more manageable.

Dr. Mair added, “Our Be The Difference culture, rooted in core values like integrity, is what sets us apart. We believe in upholding those values by standing with our military personnel every step of the way.”

“Receiving the Patriot Award is a humbling experience for all of us at TCO,” Bailey said. “It underscores the significance of our commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment, where every member of our TCO family knows that their service and sacrifice are deeply valued. We are committed to upholding these principles and will continue to be a beacon of support for our military employees and their families.”