ECU given Freedom Award for support of military

Posted September 24, 2010

— East Carolina University received the Defense Department's top award honoring employers for their support of staff members who are part of the military.

ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard accepted the 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Thursday night.

"These great young men and women – if you will, the greatest generation that we have today – cannot do what they do in service in the National Guard and Reserve without the support of their employers," Assistant Secretary of Defense Dennis McCarthy said.

ECU was among 15 employers chosen from nearly 2,500 nominations for the award. The university was nominated by its director of general surgery residency.

Ballard met with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Vice President Joe Biden to receive their congratulations and thanks.

"ECU, a top military friendly school, has a strong veterans preference program, exceptional support for deployed employees and also (has) created an acclaimed family readiness program to ease the strains of deployment," Leon Harris, the master of ceremonies, said when presenting the award Thursday.

ECU was named a “2010 Military-Friendly School” by GI Jobs Magazine. The university has an office at Fort Bragg to advise service members about their academic opportunities.

ECU was also praised for its efforts to send care packages to deployed soldiers and to check on their families left behind. The university's Essential Life Skills for Military Families program offers a series of one-day workshops to help military families cope with deployments.

The university has previously been the recipient of several Defense Department Patriot Awards and the state-level Pro Patria Award for its support of the military

YouTube video: ECU receives 2010 Freedom Award


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  • itsnews2me Sep 24, 2010

    Congratulations ECU for recognition earned and well-deserved! Although not mentioned specifically in this article, I think it is an excellent opportunity to also make people aware of the "Operation Re-entry North Carolina" initiative through ECU at .

  • gunny462 Sep 24, 2010

    Gratz ECU and ty for all of your support to our troops!

  • gingerlynn Sep 24, 2010


  • gnewsome1 Sep 24, 2010

    Thank you East Carolina University for providing assistance to the Veterans and their families. It's very refreshing to see this level of support for those who serve in our military and provide freedom for this great country. For those of us who served in foreign lands during the Vietnam era, it is especially refreshing. And even though I am a long time UNC fan, go ECU, go Pirates.

  • didisaythat Sep 24, 2010

    Ha Ha EC U look so good to me!!! Come on everyone. Even though I have been a Tarheel my whole life, but went to ECU, I could not imagine UNC getting this award.

  • citygirl76 Sep 24, 2010

    Congratulations ECU!! I have always taken great pride in my school and this just adds to the things to be very very proud of!!!

  • me2you Sep 24, 2010

    I'm proud to be a PIRATE!

  • LovemyPirates Sep 24, 2010

    Go Pirates!

  • dsalter Sep 24, 2010

    Three cheers for ECU! It's refreshing to see the difference in opinions today compared with the Vietnam era towards veterans who chose to serve in the Reserves or National Guard. In those days, with the exception of a few employers, the best way to avoid getting a job or keeping one was to be in the guard or reserves. These are draft free days and when it comes to serving this great country of ours, somebody has to do it.

  • rrzx-14 Sep 24, 2010

    Good news! :-)