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Our Opinion: Patriots honored for supporting National Guard and Reserve

We always are delighted when the Missouri National Guard presents a Patriot Award to a Mid-Missouri employer.

The most recent presentation was made last week, honoring the president of a statewide association for supporting employees who serve in the Missouri National Guard and Reserve.

Previous recipients in Central Missouri have included area businesses and state agencies.

The Patriot Award is sponsored by the National Committee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

Nominations for the Patriot Award may be made by any member of the National Guard and Reserve.

The nomination also serves as the basis to be considered for higher honors.

They include:

• Above and Beyond awards: Given in limited numbers by state and territory ESGR committees, the award recognizes employers at the state and local level that rise above the legal requirements for granting leave and providing support for the military.

• The Pro Patria Award: This honor is presented to employers who demonstrate exceptional support for national defense by adopting personnel policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the National Guard and Reserve. Each committee may give only one annually.

• Employer Support Freedom awards. Sponsored by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense, this is the federal government’s highest recognition given to employers for support of Guard and Reserve service.

Members of the Guard and Reserve interested in nominating an employer may use the form provided at www.esgr.org.

Our military men and women make tremendous sacrifices of time and talent to serve the cause of freedom at home and abroad.

When they are fulfilling military obligations, they must be singularly focused, not distracted by concerns or worries about their civilian responsibilities or jobs.

Employers deserve to be recognized when they help ease those civilian burdens, allowing military personnel to sharpen their focus.

We commend Patriot Award honorees for valuing their workers who are doubly dedicated — to their jobs and to their country.

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