Serving your country is no easy task. It takes heart, dedication and a love for country over a love for self.
Leaving family, friends, and oftentimes their full or part time jobs behind, American men and women in the National Guard and Reserves spend their precious time keeping us safe. It’s a common thing for families and friends of Guard and Reserve members to show their support through cards and care packages. What’s less common is the employers getting in on the action and lending a hand to the families and soldiers themselves.
However, some employers are working very hard on behalf of their men and women in uniform. Those employers are honored with the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor given by the United States Government to employers for their support of employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
Just 145 companies have been given the award since it was established in 1996 with the backing of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Fifteen awards are given each year and we’re pleased that a company with an Indiana presence – Hanson Professional Services, Inc. (headquartered in Illinois with a branch in Indianapolis) – is a recent recipient of the Freedom Award.
Hanson, an engineering consulting firm, was nominated by an employee serving in the Army National Guard, who wrote that Hanson provided pro-bono engineering assistance to a military unit working on a bridge in Iraq. Also, while he was deployed, the family of Hanson’s CEO took the Guardsman’s wife and daughters on a shopping trip to pick out care package supplies using money collected by co-workers. He also cited receiving care packages, letters and other correspondence from the company.
Other past recipients with Indiana ties include Indianapolis-based Perpetual Technologies, Inc. in 2009, Con-Way Freight (with a branch in Plainfield) in 2007, as well as Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Group (Midwest Airlines) in 2000.
Companies are nominated by their Guard and Reserve personnel, as well as their families. A national selection board of senior Defense officials and business leaders select the award recipients. The 2011 honorees will be recognized in Washington, D.C. at a ceremony on September 22.
For a full list of current and past recipients, visit www.freedomaward.mil.