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ESGR, 139th AW Hosts Employer Appreciation Day

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- -- The Missouri and Kansas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) programs recently co-hosted, with the 139th Airlift Wing, an Employer Appreciation Day during the Speed of Sound Air Show at Rosecrans.

Nearly 100 employers from both states were invited to the event to learn more about the mission of the 139th Airlift Wing. Leadership from the wing spoke to employers about the importance of a strong working relationship between the wing and employers.

"It's very important to us to have you here today," said Col. Mike McEnulty, 139th Airlift Wing commander. "When we deploy, we take away your employees. If you are a small business and only have 10 employees and we take one, that's 10 percent of your workforce. Without your support, we would not be able to maintain the level of readiness we enjoy today."

Mick Allen, Kansas ESGR Chairman, reinforced the statements made by McEnulty, adding that everyone shares in the responsibility for a strong national defense.

"When our men and women in uniform go to war, it's the employers and family that handle the burdens at home," said Allen. "These soldiers and airmen need to know that they will have a job when they come back home. The family left behind at home needs to know this too. These service members don't need to worry about if they will have a job when they come home. They need to focus on their mission, and your support allows them to do just that."

After the briefing, employers were provided lunch in the dining facility before the start of the air show practice day April 30. Those employers that had not done so before signed a statement of support (SoS), pledging to follow the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA). Employers were encouraged to hang the SoS in a prominent place in their business to show their support.

The participants were seated in a VIP section along the flight line during a preview of the air show on Friday. Demonstration flights included a C-130 from the 139th, A-10 Warthogs from the West Coast Demonstration Team and the Navy Blue Angels.

As the members of the Army and Air National Guard continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions here and overseas, ESGR will continue to be the resource for the employers of American service members. ESGR provides education, consultation, and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at www.esgr.mil, or by calling 1-800-336-4590.