Delegation Encourages ND Guard, Reserve Members to Nominate Outstanding Employers

WASHINGTON - Senators John Hoeven and Kent Conrad and Congressman Rick Berg announced today that Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a U.S. Department of Defense organization, is accepting applications for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award, which recognizes employers who show exceptional support for their National Guard and Reserve member employees who are fulfilling their service obligations. The delegation encourages North Dakota’s service men and women to nominate employers who have gone the extra mile for their National Guard and Reserve employees and their families.

“When men and women serving in the National Guard and Reserves are called away from their jobs to serve our country, it is important for their employers to do as much as they can to help the service members and their families before, during and after deployment. We hope that our troops take time to nominate the employers who serve their country by going above and beyond to support their employees’ military service,” the delegation said.

The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense’s highest honor for civilian employers supporting Guard and Reserve members. Previous recipients garnered recognition for supportive measures including organizing colleagues to provide dinners to a deployed employee’s family, covering extra shifts during an employee’s military training, taking a deployed service member’s children to sports practices and other family events, and establishing robust military support networks.

Fargo-based AgCountry Farm Credit Services received a 2006 Freedom Award for providing an employee full pay and benefits during his deployment, helping the employee’s family, displaying a Statement of Support for the troops at all of its 16 locations, and displaying a flag at its corporate headquarters that flew over its employee’s unit in Iraq.

Nominations may be submitted by service members, or a family member acting on their behalf, at www.FreedomAward.mil through Jan. 16, 2012. The 2012 recipients will be announced by early summer and honored in Washington, D.C., during a special ceremony early next fall.