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Monday, April 19, 2010

Three Alabama companies recognized for miltary support

This was released last week while I was out of town:

Three Alabama employers have been selected as semifinalists for the 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award is the U.S. Government’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the award which was instituted in 1996 under then Secretary of Defense William Perry. Nominations for the 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award were accepted from November 2009 through mid-January 2010.

Of Alabama’s 57 nominations for the Freedom Award, Alabama Power Company of Mobile, the Birmingham Police Department and Spiritus Inc. of Huntsville were selected as semifinalists. Examples of semifinalists support for their Guard and Reserve employees include providing the difference between military and civilian salary during deployments, continuation of full benefits, care packages and even family support to employees fulfilling their military obligation.

The three Alabama employers are among 130 semifinalists from across the nation, selected from more than 2,500 nominations submitted by Guard and Reserve members or their families for outstanding employer support.

From this field, a national review board will now select 30 finalists for the award. A national selection board comprised of senior defense officials, business leaders and prior Freedom Award recipients, representing small business, large business and public sector employers, will then select the 15 recipients for the 2010 Freedom Award. The Department of Defense will announce the 2010 finalists in May and the award recipients in early summer. The 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Awards will be presented at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., September 23rd at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center.

About ESGR & the Freedom Award

The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). ESGR is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972 whose mission 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. Since 1996, only 130 companies have been presented with the prestigious Freedom Award. Previous honorees include Microsoft, Sears, Home Depot, American Airlines and Miller Brewing Company. For more information, please visit


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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 

As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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