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Wolfowitz Praises Top Civilian Employers of Guard, Reserve Members

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2003 – Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz today praised the exemplary support provided by nine civilian employers of Guard and Reserve members.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
D.H. Griffin Wrecking Company Inc. Vice President David Griffin Jr. accepts a Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz at the U.S. Chamber of Congress Nov. 14. Griffin's demolition company was responsible for cleanup at the New York City World Trade Center terror attack site. Also pictured are, far left, Bobby Hollingsworth, the executive director of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, and, far right, David Janes, the acting national chairman of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Photo by Gerry J. Gilmore
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Speaking at the 2003 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Awards ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Congress, Wolfowitz noted that 156,000 Guard and reserve members are now on active duty in support of the war on global terrorism.

The Guard and Reserve, the deputy secretary noted, are an indispensable component in the prosecution of the war. Employers too, Wolfowitz emphasized, are performing selfless service for the country, by putting patriotism before profit.

"You are looking out for yourselves by looking out, first, for our country," Wolfowitz told the award recipients, "and by doing what is necessary to support the Guard and Reserve members among your employees."

Wolfowitz noted that the employers at the ceremony go above and beyond what's called for by law, by providing differential pay, extended health benefits, and other support for their deployed Guard and reserve employees.

For example, the D.H. Griffin Wrecking Company Inc. was recognized for providing extra pay and health benefits for its Guard and Reserve employees and for donating personnel and equipment for the clean up of reserve centers.

And Verizon Communications Inc. contributed more than 300,000 free phone cards good for 10 minutes each for use by family members of deployed Guard and reserve members.

"In short, you are employers, who, with a keen sense of civic duty, have gone the extra mile to support our citizen soldiers," Wolfowitz pointed out.

Other companies honored at the ceremony co-hosted by the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve include Albertsons Inc., Central Atlantic Toyota Distribution Center, Clear Channel Airports, Miller Brewing Company, PG&E Corporation, The Home Depot Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc.

The committee is a DoD agency whose mission is to gain and maintain employer support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the National Guard and reserve. ESGR operates through a network of more than 4,200 volunteers throughout 55 committees located in all states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Europe.

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