South Bend employee awarded by federal government for his support

NOW: South Bend employee awarded by federal government for his support


One local employer is being recognized by the federal government for those he’s acknowledging in the workplace.

Security Services Manager at the St. Joseph County Public Library, Charles Burnside, spends most of his mornings greeting visitors at the entrance alongside his coworkers. But these aren’t just any coworkers to him.

“I have a history of employing military personnel. It came about at Memorial Hospital when I was employed there,” said Charles Burnside, Security Services Manager at SJCPL.

That began about 22 years ago. He says that's what makes them a first-rate pick and for good reason.

“A high integrity, work ethics, responsibility, dependable individuals,” said Burnside.

For this, Burnside was recently recognized by the United States Military. He received an award from the U.S. Department of Defense.

“The Seven Seals Award,” said Burnside.

The Seven Seals Award is specifically given to employers who have shown significant support for members of the National Guard and Reserve in the workplace. Although Burnside says he himself has never served in the military, he has the utmost respect and support for those who have; support that one of his former hires can vouch for.

“He always let us shine individually. He would do what he could to change the schedule to where we could attend our drills. He’s also a great mentor! Sometimes I’d be upset about something or if something didn’t go right at drill, I would vent to him because I could talk to him pretty much about anything,” said current Private First Class Krista Garcia, Military Police.

“I think it’s important that we support our men and women; National Guard, Reserve, or full time. They actually have an opportunity in the civilian world to come back knowing that they can continue to support the community as well and make a living by doing so, financially,” said Burnside.

When I asked Burnside how he reacted to receiving the award, he said he truly appreciates this award because it represents the library’s values to our community and serving others. He says he’ll continue with those same values as long as he is managing.

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