Rio Grande Fence Company's 2nd Generation Owner Receives Patriot Award

January 14th, 2016

Tennessee Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office, announced Mike Smith, owner of Rio Grande Fence Company was honored Dec. 16 with a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of his employee serving in Tennessee National Guard.

Smith was nominated for being highly supportive of the National Guard by his Reserve Component employee, Spc. Glen Barbee.

“The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Joe Thomas, Tennessee ESGR state chair emeritus. “Supportive owners are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.”

“Smith, along with my co-workers, are very understanding and always supportive of my military duties even when the call comes on a short notice”, stated Barbee.

Picture from L-R are Spc. Glen Barbee, Rio Grande Fence Company owner Mike Smith and Tennessee ESGR Chair Emeritus Joe Thomas.

ESGR, a DoD office, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within Department of Defense. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. 

For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call 1-800-336-4590 or visit

Rio Grande Fence Co. of Nashville has been installing and repairing fences for commercial and industrial projects since 1958. Business owners, general contractors, government agencies and sports facilities throughout the Mid-South turn to us for perimeter security and peace of mind.

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Our regional reach extends from Nashville to projects all over the Mid-South.

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