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Nominations Sought for Guard, Reserve Employer Support Award

American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 18, 2005 – The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is accepting nominations for its 2005 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, given for outstanding support of employees who serve in the Reserve and National Guard.

The award was instituted in 1996 to recognize the significant contributions and sacrifices made by America's employers of National Guardsmen and Reservists, ESGR officials said. This year, ESGR is reinstating the original parameters of the nomination process in which only guardsmen and reservists may nominate employers, they added.

The 2004 Freedom Award recipients were American Express, Bank One, Colt Fire Safety & Rescue, Adolph Coors Brewing Co., General Electric, Harley-Davidson, The Home Depot, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Northrop Grumman, the state of Minnesota, One Source Building Technologies, Saints Memorial Medical Center, Sprint, Strategic Solutions and Wal-Mart.

"Today, in support of the war on terrorism and the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, an essential alliance has been formed, as many of America's employers have become inextricably linked to the nation's defense by sharing their most precious asset, their employees," said Bob Hollingsworth, ESGR executive director.

National Guardsmen and Reservists can visit the ESGR Web site to nominate their employers for the award, which Hollingsworth said recognizes support above and beyond the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

Nominations will be accepted at the ESGR Web site through midnight Feb. 24. Recipients will be recognized Oct. 22 in Washington, D.C.

As the 1.2 million members of the National Guard and Reserve continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions within America's borders and beyond, ESGR will continue to be the contact agency for educational programs and services that enhance the relationship between civilian employers and their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve, officials said.

ESGR provides free education, consultation and, if necessary, mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees.

(From a National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve news release.)

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National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

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