LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --
Providing pay and benefits during deployments, sending care packages to deployed employees, allowing time off, and celebrating military service with send-off and homecoming ceremonies are just a few commitments that the Guard and Reserve's top employers are honored for each year.
This year Tech. Sgt. Fernando Canez, 944th Civil Engineer Squadron electrical systems journeyman, nominated his employer, the Salt River Project, for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Secretary of Defense Freedom Award.
"I put in SRP for the Freedom award because of their commitment and support for veterans," said Canez. "SRP held a burger burn with all proceeds going to the family of Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress who lost his life in the Aurora, Colorado shootings last year. SRP is dedicated to public service and offered to help test our rubber gloves and hotline equipment for the electric shop here at the 944th Civil Engineering Squadron."
The nomination landed SRP as one of the Arizona ESGR award recipients and they were recognized at the Arizona ESGR Annual Employers Awards Banquet on Apr 19, at the Tempe Mission Palms in Tempe, Ariz.
Many employers were recognized for their support however, SRP was one of three distinguished with the ESGR Pro Patria Award in recognition of extraordinary support of its employees who serve in the Arizona National Guard and Reserve. And is one of Arizona's top three employers competing for the Secretary of Defense Employer Freedom Award at the National level.
According to Tim Williamson, ESGR Arizona Chair, "The Patriot Award, Above and Beyond Award, Seven Seals and the Pro Patria were created by ESGR to publicly recognize American employers who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the Minute Men before them, have answered their nation's call to serve. Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's National Guard and Reserve units."
Guard and Reserve leaders continually stress how critical the support of families, communities and employers are to the defense of the nation.
" SRP is always going above and beyond," said Canez. "I was impressed when 11 crews of lineman, substation electricians, and relay technicians volunteered to help restore power/infrastructure in New York City during Hurricane Sandy. I am happy to work at a place that is patriotic, always willing to help the public and our country."
The ESGR's mission is to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support. It also increases awareness of the laws governing Guard and Reserve service and resolves conflict through mediation.
As the 1.2 million members of the National Guard and Reserve continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions with America's borders and beyond, ESGR will continue to be the resource for the employers of America's new Minutemen. ESGR provides education, consultation and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at www.esgr.mil