Mr. GI Wilson, (Marine Colonel Retired), State Chair of the Southern California ESGR Field Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), announced today that Los Angeles County will be honored as the Southern California Pro Patria Award recipient for 2006. The award ceremony will be conducted at 9:30AM on Tuesday, March 21st in the L.A. County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 500 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, California.
This prestigious award can be earned by only one Southern California employer annually, and recognizes and honors the extraordinary support by the County of Los Angeles for their employees who serve in the California National Guard and Reserve.
In addition to the ESGR Pro Patria presentation, Los Angeles County Mayor Mike Antonovich, who is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the California State Military Reserve, will be honored with the ESGR “Above and Beyond” Award. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is also a recipient of the 2004 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
“This is the right thing to do and the right time to do it,” said Wilson. “This group of Los Angeles area employers continues to provide superior support to their employees who serve in the California National Guard and Reserve. I am challenging all of Southern California’s employers to rise to this level in their support, and to stand proudly with their employees, who like the Minutemen before them, continue to answer their nation’s call to defend our way of life”.
“On behalf of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors I am honored to receive ESGR’s Pro Patria Award,” Mayor Antonovich said. “Municipalities and Employers have a responsibility to support the brave men and women of our reserve forces who have volunteered to defend our freedom. They need to focus on their mission, and not worry about whether or not a job will be waiting for them upon their return. They are the true heroes and ones we should be honoring.”
Los Angeles County has over 800 employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces. When these individuals are called to Active Duty the County provides differential pay to bridge the gap between civilian and military pay; allows the continued accrual of sick and vacation time and guarantees they will have a job when they return.
“Since September 11, 2001, more than 500,000 men and women who serve in the National Guard and Reserve, from across the United States, have left their families and employers to serve on active duty in the Global War on Terrorism. Specifically, 63,000 are members of the Guard and Reserve in the State of California, and of that a significant number are currently deployed away from their loved ones and places of business. The outpouring of support from the California home front has been overwhelming. None of this could have been possible without the strong backing from California’s employers of the brave men and women who serve this great Nation, and the State of California”, added Wilson.
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 active support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve.
As the 1.2 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 America’s new Minutemen. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation, and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees. For more information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities, please call George Carroll at 562-572-3466, or visit the ESGR website.