FARGO, N.D. - North Dakota's <a href="http://www.esgr.org">Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve</a>, or ESGR, thanked area employers today during a "Breakfast with the Boss" event. The 7 a.m. gathering recognized 13 businesses and organizations with the <a href="http://esgr.org/site/Programs/PatriotAward/tabid/171/Default.aspx">Patriot Award</a>.

"Employers in this area are very patriotic," said Kevin Iverson, of Bismarck, North Dakota's ESGR director. "They get the need for military service, and we appreciate that. ... We wanted to take an opportunity to thank employers with recognition for the outstanding support they provide their service member employees."

Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, Air National Guard director, Maj. Gen. Raymond W. Carpenter, acting Army National Guard director, and Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general, also were at the event to thank the employers.

"As you know, our Soldiers and Airmen have been tremendously successful over the years at adding value to our state and communities, but that wouldn't be possible without you," Sprynczynatyk said. "... We're all citizen-Soldiers, citizen-warriors, citizen-Airmen and most of us have another job within the community."

For the award, ESGR committee members presented a framed certificate and lapel pin to the employers, who were nominated by an employee who serves in the National Guard or Reserve.

"We cannot recognize an employer without the participation of that employee service member," Iverson said.

Businesses awarded today included the City of Fargo Street Department, which was nominated by Army National Guard Sgt. Travis Kane; the City of West Fargo, nominated by Air National Guard Chief Master Sgt. Michael Reitan; Express Employment Professionals, nominated by Army National Guard Sgt. Jacob Payson; Fargo Jet Center, nominated by Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Mandi Hagen; Fargo Police Department, recognized by Air National Guard Capt. Joseph Anderson; West Fargo Public Schools' Sheyenne 9th Grade Center, nominated by Air National Guard Master Sgt. Rollin Swedberg; MeritCare Cardiac Rehabilitation, nominated by Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Nathan Nieman; American Family Insurance, nominated by Air National Guard Master Sgt. Bruce Karevold; Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney, nominated by Army National Guard Spc. Shane Spieker; CATCO Parts & Service, nominated by Army National Guard Spc. Bernard Fischer; Industrial Builders Inc., nominated by Army National Guard Spc. Kevin McKenzie; Magnum Companies, nominated by Sgt. Bryan Hovland; and Union Storage and Transfer, nominated by Army National Guard Master Sgt. Kyle Heidenreich.

Many of the Soldiers who nominated their employers are currently deployed overseas and were not able to attend with their organization.

The West Fargo Police Department and Fargo Park District also were recognized today for their continuing support of service members. Both were nominated for the 2010 Freedom Award.

Each Patriot Award recipient will now be considered for a higher award from ESGR, the highest of which including the Employer Support Freedom Award, which is given by the secretary of defense.

ESGR is a Department of Defense volunteer-based organization that seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. ESGR's mission is to gain and maintain employer support for members of the National Guard and Reserve by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law, and resolving conflict through mediation.
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Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,500 Soldiers and more than 1,800 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Currently, about 800 North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas. With a total force of about 4,400 Soldiers and Airmen, sufficient forces remain in the state for emergency response and homeland defense.


For more information, contact: Kevin Iverson at 701-220-8855 (cell) or 701-333-2057 (office)

<b><u>Photos/Cutlines</b></u>
Photos and cutlines from today's event will be available later today on Flickr. Go to www.flickr.com/photos/ndguard and navigate to the set titled, "ESGR."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16