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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 637-06
July 06, 2006

DoD Announces 2006 Freedom Award Recipients

The Department of Defense announced today the 15 recipients of the 2006 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, which is sponsored by the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

They include: AgCountry Farm Credit Services of Fargo, N.D.; Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America of Minneapolis, Minn.; Baptist Health of Little Rock, Ark.; 

BNSF Railway Company of Fort Worth, Texas; Cardi's Furniture Superstores of Swansea, Mass.; the commonwealth of Massachusetts; Computer Sciences Corp., of El Segundo, Calif.; DuPont of Wilmington, Del.; Fred Fletemeyer Company of Colorado Springs, Colo.; MGM Mirage of Las Vegas; Skyline Membership Corp., of West Jefferson, N.C.; South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks of Pierre, S.D.; Starbucks Corp., of Seattle; the state of Vermont; and Sun Valley General Improvement District of Sun Valley, Nev.

“On behalf of the men and women serving in the National Guard and Reserve, I would like to congratulate these firms and thank them for their outstanding support,” said Bob Hollingsworth, the executive director of ESGR.  “By going above and beyond what is required by law, these firms set a high standard for all of America’s private and public employers.”

ESGR will present the Freedom Awards at a ceremony on Sept. 21 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

Secretary of Defense William Perry instituted this award in 1996.  It publicly recognizes employers, who were nominated by their employees voluntarily serving in the National Guard and Reserve, for exceptional support above the requirements of federal law.  This prestigious award is the highest in a series of DoD employer awards that include the Patriot Award, the ESGR Above and Beyond Award and the Pro Patria Award.

More information about ESGR employer outreach programs and volunteer opportunities is available at http://www.esgr.mil or by calling (800) 336-4590.

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