Franklin County received an award from the state of Missouri this week for its participation in the Show-Me Heroes program.

The program encourages employers to take a pledge to attempt to interview and hire military veterans.

The county did just that, hiring Jason Stout as an oil crew operator in the county highway department.

Lt. Col. Alan Rohlfing, a member of the Missouri National Guard and the director of the Show-Me Heroes program, said veterans like Stout are one of the state’s most valuable resources.

Highway Administrator Eva Gadcke said Stout has proven to be a valuable employee.

“We have a whole group of men and women who have provided quality service to the county, Gadcke said.

Some of those other employees also are veterans. Stout is a former U.S. Army engineer.

“(The award) is not specifically about hiring the one veteran — it’s about all the great things going on for veterans in Franklin County,” Rohlfing said. “Taking a pledge is one thing, but putting those words into action is another.”

State Sen. Brian Nieves, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, said he supported the program and thanked the county for its involvement.

The award itself is a plaque featuring an American flag patch from the combat uniform of a member of the Missouri National Guard worn during deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Rohfling said the Show-Me Heroes program has expanded to over 2,200 Missouri employers and resulted in the hiring of over 1,700 veterans.

Gov. Jay Nixon has asked every employer in the state to visit the state’s official website,, and read about the program.