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Arizona municipalities proclaim Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week

September 8, 2011, Payson, Arizona, Town of Payson, Arizona Mayor Kenny Evans presents Arizona Office for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Staff  Member, Butch Wise a Proclamation declaring the week of September 19-23, 2011 as Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week.  The Town of Payson has a long history of supporting the Guard and Reserves, and has several Guard and Reserve members who live and serve in the Payson community. (Courtesy photo)

September 8, 2011, Payson, Arizona, Town of Payson, Arizona Mayor Kenny Evans presents Arizona Office for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Staff Member, Butch Wise a Proclamation declaring the week of September 19-23, 2011 as Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week. The Town of Payson has a long history of supporting the Guard and Reserves, and has several Guard and Reserve members who live and serve in the Payson community. (Courtesy photo)

PHOENIX -- Scott Essex, State Chair of the Arizona Office for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Committee (ESGR), an agency of the Department of Defense, announced that 37 Arizona municipalities completed proclamations declaring the week of September 19-23, 2011, as "Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week."

The following municipalities completed the proclamations:

State of Arizona
Town of Gilbert
City of Phoenix
City of Prescott
Tempe Chamber
City of Yuma
Town of Show Low
Navajo County
City of Mesa
City of Scottsdale
City of Sedona
Town of Payson
Town of Chino Valley
City of Peoria
City of Chandler
City of Sierra Vista
Town of Sahuarita
Green Valley
Oro Valley
Town of Thatcher
Pinetop/Lakeside
City of Douglas
Maricopa County
Pima County
Pinal County
Yuma County
Cochise County
Gila County
Greenlee County
City of Bisbee
City of Casa Grande
Town of Snowflake
City of Cottonwood
City of Tempe
Yavapai County
Coconino County
City of Flagstaff

The proclamations declare that these municipalities pledge the following:

· We fully recognize, honor and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA).
· The National Guard and Reserve are essential to the strength of our nation and the well being of our communities.
· That they will have the tools they need to effectively manage their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

"Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's National Guard and Reserve units. I am asking all Arizona employers to review and amend their current human resources policies to ensure compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)," said Essex.

"Many Arizona employers provide 'above and beyond' support with pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits, which complement coverage provided by the military, when their employees are mobilized."

The proclamations were issued in conjunction with the release of the 2011 Secretary of Defense Freedom Awards scheduled for September 22, 2011. The Secretary of Defense Freedom Award recognizes 15 employers annually who provide exceptional support to their Guard and Reserve employees across the United States. Over 4100 nominations were received in 2011 and Arizona's Town of Gilbert was one of the 15 recipients of this prestigious recognition.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972. The mission of ESGR is to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law, and resolving conflict through mediation. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation, and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees.

As the 1.3 million members of the National Guard and Reserve continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions that require extraordinary actions on the part of everyday citizens, ESGR will continue to be the informational agency for the employers of citizen warriors.

More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at www.esgr.mil, or by calling Butch Wise, Executive Director of the Arizona ESGR Office, at 602-323-4183.