A division of the Department of Defense awarded the Johnson County (Kan.) Sheriff’s Office for its many care packages sent to a military division stationed in Iraq that includes members of the agency.

Sheriff Frank Denning and the Johnson County (Kan.) Sheriff’s Office were presented with a Seven Seals Award from Charles G. Bredahl with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a division of the Department of Defense. The Seven Seals Award represents the seven military reserve components and was presented in recognition of the support the Sheriff’s Office has given the 137th Transportation Unit while deployed in Iraq.

Beginning in November 2004, the Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Denning and with the effort of Records Supervisor Brian Dowling and Records Clerk Tina Klingman, began collecting items to be sent to these troops while on deployment.

Over the past eight months the Sheriff’s Office has sent several hundred pounds of items ranging from candy to bath items, cleaners to entertainment devices, to the troops of the 137th Transportation Unit. The Sheriff’s Office has pledged to continue collecting and sending items to this unit until they all return home.

During his acceptance speech Sheriff Denning said, “No award we have means more, and it will be found in a place of honor where it will be proudly displayed.”

The 137th Transportation Unit has added importance for the sheriff because four of his deputies are currently assigned to this unit. Two of these deputies are deployed to Iraq and two of them have returned home after serving several tours. In addition, one of the key people in setting up this collection effort is Sheriff’s Records Clerk Tina Klingman, whose husband is currently serving with the 137th.