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Building Bridges

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We, have posted a lot here at SpouseBuzz about our military community, and the frustration we feel when it seems as though the bridge to the civilian community is out.  We have also talked about how tremendous community support is, and how to encourage it.   Bridge building can be satisfying. 

There is nothing better for the military community, than feeling support from the outside.  It makes our jobs, and our life more meaningful. 

Many of you in the National Guard, and Reserve community, have a great opportunity over the next few weeks, this is a great opportunity for us to say THANK YOU! 

We all know that supporting our troops exacts a toll on friends and families. Less known is the toll taken on the employer community, which must continually adjust to the loss of employees to military duty.

Indeed, almost half the U.S. military is composed of guardsmen and reservists. And while all employer support-whether from a mom-and-pop shop or a large corporation-is exemplary, many employers go above and beyond their legal requirements. For instance, they may provide full salary, continuation of benefits, care packages, and even home and lawn care to an employee's family.For such generosity, every year 15 employers are recognized with the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the U.S. government's highest recognition for civilian employers. If you think your employer is so deserving, please nominate them-before January 21, 2008-at http://esgr.org/fap.asp?p=form2007. (Note: To submit a nomination, you must be a member of the guard or reserve, or a relative of one.)

Recipients will be announced in the spring and honored in Washington ,  D.C. , at the 13th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony, on September 18, 2008. Recipients of last year's award met with President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates; Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James Cartwright, presented the awards at a ceremony attended by members of Congress and senior military officials.The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996, by then-Defense Secretary William Perry, under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). A Department of Defense agency established in 1972, ESGR seeks to gain and maintain employer support for guard and reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law, and resolving conflicts through informal mediation. To learn more, please visit www.esgr.mil.

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