Fortunately for Wood, he works for the Town of Apex, an employer that has repeatedly displayed its support for the men and women serving their country during a time of war.
That support was put in the spotlight recently when Apex Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Director John Brown was recognized as a “Patriotic Employer” by the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
Wood presented Brown with a certificate commemorating the recognition during a recent town council meeting.
Brown praised town leaders for setting a precedent of support for those serving in the military.
“The mayor, town council, town manager and (assistant town manager) Mike Wilson have all been very supportive about doing whatever they need to do to keep things running as smoothly as possible,” said Brown. “They certainly understand the need (for military service) and have full support for it. We’re all glad to do what we need to do.”
A technical sergeant working in intelligence with the Air National Guard, Wood, 44, said it was comforting to have the strong support of an employer while serving overseas.
“It’s hugely important not to have to worry about it,” said Wood, who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 and is facing another possible deployment this summer. “You need every single bit of focus in a combat situation, obviously. I do think about Apex and work but I don’t have to worry and that is a big positive when you are over there. It is a huge stress reliever for my family as well.”
Wood is one of six town employees who have been deployed since 2003, with an average deployment lasting about 13 months.
Town manager Bruce Radford said Apex does more than just meet federal requirements concerning deployed employees. The town also pays any difference between employees’ salary and the paycheck they receive from the government.
“That is an area where we stand out,” said Radford.
Displaying support for the men and women of the armed forces is something the town takes pride in.
“The Town of Apex is proud to be recognized in this way,” said Radford. “We proudly support the troops wherever they are deployed. They are sacrificing time with family and friends and are putting their lives on the line. This is the least we can do to show our appreciation for their service.”
Wood, a 17-veteran with the Guard, said he was also thankful for the support of co-workers.
“The ones picking up the extra work when I’m gone are my co-workers,” said Wood, who is supervisor of the Halle Cultural Arts Center. “They have extra duties and burdens and they do it without ever complaining.”
“I’ve never heard one person complain,” said Brown. “They are all willing to pick things up and take on extra duties. What makes it easier with David is that he always makes sure everything is planned out. He also is very conscientious and sends us an email or check with us to make sure how things are going. Even though he is over there he never forgets what is going on here, which I think is pretty admirable.”