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Posted: December 27, 2009 12:30 a.m.

National Guard and Reserve members give the gift of thanks this holiday season

Across the nation, members of the National Guard and Reserve and their families have the opportunity to give the gift of thanks to supportive employers this holiday season by nominating them for the 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

National Guard and Reserve members and their families are encouraged to visit www.FreedomAward.mil through Jan. 18, to nominate employers for the 15th Anniversary Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Award nominees will be recognized by the Department of Defense and announced in March 2010. The 15 award recipients will be announced in early summer.

With ongoing global operations, support from U.S. employers for National Guard and Reserve service is more critical now than ever. Almost one-half of the U.S. military is comprised of the National Guard and Reserve and the Department of Defense shares these citizen warriors with their civilian employers, many of whom provide significant support to their employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve.

The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. To date, 130 organizations from across the nation have received this prestigious award.

ESGR was established in 1972; its mission is to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law and resolving conflicts through mediation.

For questions regarding the Freedom Award nomination process, please visit www.FreedomAward.mil or contact Maj. Melissa Phillips, ESGR Public Affairs, at (703) 380-9262.

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