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The Department of Defense has announced the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipients. The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given to employers for their support of their employees who also serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

Microsoft

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2009 – When Tom Castellano was called on to deploy in 2007, his manager at Microsoft had a parting gift. Story

AeroDyn Wind Tunnel

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2009 – When Army National Guardsman Sgt. Michael Scaglione announced he was being deployed to Iraq, he knew he could count not only on his family, but on his colleagues at AeroDyn Wind Tunnel. Story

NetJets

WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2009 – A New Jersey-based company that specializes in selling and renting private business jets – and has employed dozens of military members – will receive the Defense Department's top award for the support it provides National Guard and Reserve members on its staff.Story

Mid American Kidney Stone Association

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2009 – When reserve-component troops are called away for military duties, their civilian employers work hard to pick up the slack in their absence. That is especially true for the Mid American Kidney Stone Association, a research group of only 10 staff members in Kansas City, Mo. Story

Consolidated Electrical Distributors Inc.

Army Reserve 1st Sgt. John Sookikian, who has completed deployments to Iraq that add up to about four years away from his civilian job, nominated his employer, Consolidated Electrical Distributors, for the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26, 2009 – Waking up for work rarely ranks high on people’s “favorites” lists, but John Sookikian said he is perfectly happy to be in the minority.Story

TriWest Healthcare Alliance

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21, 2009 – When a TriWest Healthcare Alliance nurse who serves in the Kansas Air National Guard got notice of an upcoming deployment in 2006, TriWest President David McIntyre ensured the company would see to her family’s needs. Story

Perpetual Technologies Inc.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2009 – Defense officials have chosen Perpetual Technologies Inc. to receive the department's employer-support award for providing exceptional financial and emotional support to its employees who deploy as National Guard or Reserve members. Story

First Data Corporation

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Rob Lawrence of the Colorado National Guard speaks prior to Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. signing a proclamation making 2009 the Year of the NCO in Colorado, June 2, 2009. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Cheresa D. TheiralWASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2009 - Army Command Sgt. Maj. Rob Lawrence's position as the Colorado National Guard's top enlisted soldier is underscored by nearly 25 years of steadfast support from his civilian employer. Story

Jackson Parish (La.) Sheriff’s Office

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2009 – Law enforcement and military service “go hand in hand” in Louisiana, and the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office truly believes in selfless service, Sheriff Andy Brown said. Story

Cambridge, Mass. Fire Department

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2009 – The Cambridge, Mass., fire department not only goes beyond federal guidelines in supporting its reserve-component employees, the department also went beyond what the state allows and got the city council on its side. Story

Ohio Department of Public Safety

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2009 – More than one in 10 employees of the Ohio Department of Public Safety is a member of the National Guard or reserves. Story

Marks, O’Neil, O’Brien and Courtney Law Firm

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2009 – The past five years have been “the most exciting, dynamic and rewarding” of Brad Sams’ professional career, not because of his success as an attorney, but because of the military opportunities his employer has enabled him to pursue, the Air National Guard major said.Story

The Santa Ana, Calif., Police Department

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2009 – The Santa Ana, Calif., police department will receive the Defense Department's top employer-support award for providing exceptional financial and emotional support to its employees who deploy as National Guard or Reserve members.Story

FMC Technologies

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2009 – At FMC Technologies in Stephenville, Texas, military experience not only is welcomed, but also is highly sought after, a spokesman for the company said.Story

AstraZeneca International

Army Reserve Lt. Col. Jeff Cantor nominated his employer, AstraZeneca International, for a Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, which recognizes employers for exceptional support to their military employees. AstraZeneca will receive the award during a Sept. 17 ceremony in Washington, D.C. WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2009 – AstraZeneca International, a pharmaceuticals company based in New Jersey, is being honored with a 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award because of its support for the 100 servicemembers it employs. Story