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(Neb)-First National Bank Chadron, Steve Cleveland Recognized By ESGR  Listen

By: John Axtell Posted at: 08/02/2017 11:58 PM

CHADRON - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, the part of the Department of Defense that works with the private sector to encourage companies to hire members of the National Guard and Reserve, yesterday recognized the First National Bank of Chadron for its efforts in that area and presented bank president Steve Cleveland with its highest honor, the Patriot Award.

       Employer Support Nebraska Area Chair Randy Langemeier, a fellow banker from Alliance who worked in Chadron in the 1990s, made the presentation in a brief ceremony at First National Chadron, saying the Patriot Award recognizes "extraordinary support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. Cleveland says it means a lot to him.

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Cleveland says support of the National Guard and of veterans has always been a priority for the bank.First National Chadron has one current National Guard member, David Koupel of Hot Springs, and one past member, Pete Johnson, who deployed to Iraq.

     Johnson, an ROTC member at the University of Nebraska who left the military as a captain after 4 years, says the bank made it possible for him to come back home after leaving the Guard.

      Koupel is a sergeant and has been in charge of maintenance at the South Dakota National Guard's Camp Rapid for about 15 years. Yesterday was his first official day with First National Chadron and says the understanding Cleveland has about the needs of Guard members made it an easy transition.

      First National Chadron's new certificate of support is now part of its lobby display on the centennial this year of America's entry into the First World War and the passage that same year of the Selective Services Act instituting the draft, the Liberty Loan Act that allowed individuals help fund the war effort.

     1917 was the year the Service Flag or Blue Star Flag was designed for families to fly to show they had sons in the military, and the bank display includes an original Blue Star Flag from around 1918 that was flown by a Whitney family.

      1917 was also the year that the First National Chadron opened its brand-new building on the southeast corner of 2nd and Main...still its home today.


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