KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, announced the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has been selected to receive the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
Fifteen employers will be honored with this year's award, the DOD's highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees. These recipients distinguished themselves among the 3,236 nominations submitted earlier this year by guardsmen and reservists, or family members acting on their behalf, according to a news release.
A member of the Army Reserve nominated the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety because it started a Family Readiness Group that watches over and assists the families of deployed employees. The group organized a collection to help make sure the nominator's family had a good Christmas while he was deployed. Indicative of its support, the department also retrained an employee to shoot left-handed after his right hand was injured in combat, so he would not have to be reassigned to a different job.
"On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, I thank the 2012 Freedom Award recipients for taking such exceptional care of the Guard and Reserve members they employ," said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Jessica L. Wright. "Our military could not meet today's national security demands without the Guard and Reserve, who in turn could not provide such dedicated service without the cooperation of their employers at home. These Freedom Award recipients have distinguished themselves nationally for their remarkable efforts, and we greatly appreciate their unwavering support."
A selection board comprised of senior DOD officials, business leaders and prior awardees selected the 15 recipients. Since 1996, only 160 employers have received the Freedom Award. The 2012 honorees will be recognized Sept. 20. at the 17th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipients --
-- Basin Electric Power Cooperative -- Bismarck, N.D.
-- Caterpillar Inc. -- Peoria, Ill.
-- Citi -- New York, N.Y.
-- Crystal Springs United Methodist Church -- Crystal Springs, Miss.
-- Delta Air Lines -- Atlanta, Ga.
-- Gary Jet Center -- Gary, Ind.
-- iostudio -- Nashville, Tenn.
-- Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety -- Kalamazoo, Mich.
-- L-3 Communications -- New York, N.Y.
-- Nyemaster Goode -- Des Moines, Iowa
-- Port of Seattle -- Seattle, Wash.
-- Siemens Corporation -- Washington, D.C.
-- Tennessee Valley Authority -- Knoxville, Tenn.
-- Uniform Color Company -- Holland, Mich.
-- Verizon Wireless -- Basking Ridge, N.J.
Information about the Freedom Award and this year's recipients -- www.FreedomAward.mil
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