Carla Anderson, College of the Mainland department chair of public service careers and allied health, has received the Department of Defense’s Patriot Award for going above and beyond expectations to support her employee, Capt. Cheryl Bordwine, an Army Reserve member who was training at Ft. Hood at the time of the 2009 shooting.

“My direct supervisor, Carla Anderson, has always been extremely supportive of my training schedule with the Army Reserve,” said Bordwine. “You know you’re in the right place when you can’t wait for the weekend to be over to get back to work.”

Bordwine serves as director of the COM Medical Assistant Program and was called up shortly after beginning her job at COM. At Ft. Hood Bordwine trained Army reserves and guardsmen. She was there during the shooting, and three members of one of her training units were among the 13 killed.

“It was really a horrible experience,” Bordwine said. “That night of the shooting had to be the most somber night, to see each one of us lower our heads, tears flowing as Taps played.”
Her supervisor emailed frequently to check on her and offer support. After her service time ended, Anderson allowed Bordwine to take care of family issues that had arisen before returning to work.
“We do all that we can to help them accomplish their goals at work and in the military,” Carla Anderson said. “I think the award should be the other way around, for our military members.”
Bordwine loves the military and teaching at COM.

“It’s like a dream job. As a single mom with three kiddos, it’s nice to know that I don’t have to worry about [my job] and do the thing I really love—serving my country.”