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April 30. 2014 4:49PM

Supportive employers honored at Guard and Reserve award conference

GOFFSTOWN — The New Hampshire Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve recognized the support of state employers recently at an awards conference at St. Anselm College.

Each year, New Hampshire National Guardsmen and Reservists or their family members nominate supportive employers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in standing behind our citizen soldiers while they are deployed on foreign soil or away for extended military service domestically.

Even with the end of the war in Iraq and the imminent drawdown in Afghanistan, national security demands and historic humanitarian relief missions have continued to call service members away from their civilian lives. Supportive employers are critical to helping restore stability and peace of mind for these citizen warriors and their loved ones.

"ESGR is designed to be a volunteer organization, the volunteers are the organization," said ESGR Deputy Executive Director Ted Fessel. "Its three core missions include military outreach, the understanding of the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, and employer outreach; and that's exactly what we are doing here today, recognizing our great employers."

Also presenting this year's awards were Dave Quinn, NH-ESGR chairman; Gov. Maggie Hassan; and Maj. Gen. William N. Reddell, the NH adjutant general. The recipients of this his year's Patriot Award included the New Hampshire State Police and five members of the Hampton Police Department.

The awards to the Hampton Police Department were accepted by Chief James Sullivan and Detective Sgt. Stephen Champey.

The second highest level of recognition is the Above and Beyond Award. This year's awardees included the U.S. Postal Service of Nashua, and Water Country of Portsmouth.

The Seven Seals Award is the third highest award and this year's recipients included the NH Department of Labor, Concord; the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce of Amherst; and Allied Barton Security Services of Billerica, Mass..

The final and highest state level award is the Pro-Patria Award, meaning "for the nation.'' This award is given once annually by each of the 54 states and territories by the state ESGR chairman and is presented to those employers who demonstrate exceptional support for the national defense by adopting policies that make it easier for employees to serve.

This year's recipient is Measured Progress of Dover, which was nominated by Major Thomas Cunningham, a member of 1st Battalion 25th Marines, USMC Reserves in Londonderry.

Cunningham, who deployed to Afghanistan with the unit in 2011, said, "Measured Progress demonstrated its commitment to the Reserves in three ways: First, the company gave me flexibility in my worked schedule as I prepared for deployment; second, the company sent care packages to my unit and local Afghans we lived near; and third, they helped me transition back to civilian life and to my job with the company; I am proud to work here."


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