RUPERT — Idaho Senator Kelly Anthon, R-Rupert, was recognized by the Office of the United States Secretary of Defense for his support of military personnel and veteran groups.

He received the “Patriotic Employer” award for his work at the city of Rupert for supporting employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces, according to a press release from his campaign office. The award was presented to him at City Hall a couple of months ago, Anthon said.

“I really believe that patriotism matters, but the support I give to our veterans and military members and their families is nothing in comparison to the sacrifice they give to our nation – they deserve our honor and support,” Anthon said.

Anthon’s support of city employees who served in the armed forces prompted a city employee to nominate him for the award.

Bruce Wright, with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Program from the U.S. Department of Defense, presented Anthon with a lapel pin and plaque during a ceremony at City Hall.

Anthon, a business lawyer, Rupert city administrator and economic developer in Mini-Cassia, has been active in the community supporting military and veteran causes throughout his career.

While in college, Anthon worked with the Idaho Department of the American Legion as a volunteer operating the Idaho Gem Boys State program as dean of advisors. In recent years he worked with local veterans and school districts to champion flag education and U.S. Constitution education curriculum. He has also helped establish local monuments remembering military veterans.

In 2016 Anthon purchased a United States flag flown over the Idaho Capital as a gift to a police officer about to be deployed to the Middle East. The flag was flown over Iraq and Syria aboard an A-10C Warthog on Sept. 11, 2016, to honor military personnel who gave their lives for their country. The flag was brought home and presented to Rupert where it hangs in a case at City Hall.