by Tech. Sgt. Susan Gladstein
161st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
PHOENIX SKY HARBOR AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE -- Fifty employers from Arizona and New Mexico participated in a Joint Boss Lift with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve in November in San Diego.
The 161st Air Refueling Wing provided transportation via the KC-135 Stratotanker and gave the employers the opportunity to see refueling of an A-10 Thunderbolt and F-22 Raptor.
"I feel honored to have been included in the Boss Lift operation. It was way more than I had expected," said employer Raymond Scott, General Building Contractor for Sun Ray Homes in Sedona, Ariz. "The refueling operation was very exciting and something that I would have never experienced if it wasn't for this program."
In addition to viewing the Arizona Air National Guard's refueling capability, attendees also learned about the U.S. Coast Guard's 11 missions, toured the Navy's guided missile destroyer USS Sterett and the Navy's Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 85 Firehawks, and attended a U.S. Marine Corps Flag Ceremony and Graduation.
For Mr. Scott, the ability to see different aspects of the military was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"I was never aware of all of the different operations that the different branches of service were involved in," Mr. Scott said. "All of the staff and military personal that I came in contact with could not have been more informative and respectful. I had no idea of the number of military personal that were reservists. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to go on a once in a lifetime excursion that reassured me that our homeland is safe and how proud I am to be a American. God bless each and every one of you for what you do."
ESGR, a Department of Defense organization, arranges Boss Lifts as an avenue to fulfill their goals. The ESGR's mission is to help develop and promote employer support of the Guard and Reserve service by advocating relevant initiatives, recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of applicable laws, and resolving conflict between employers and service members.
"The best part of the trip was being able to connect with the various individual business owners who support our troops and experience an unforgettable trip together," said Erika Frantzve, Miss Arizona USA and founder/CEO of Everyday Heroes Like You. "I had an incredible time seeing what our brave men and women do as they balance their military and civilian lives. The best part of all, though, had to have been seeing the genuine smiles of the troops' faces when we would take the time to visit with them and actually listen and learn about what their jobs and roles are for their particular unit."
ESGR informs and educates service members and their civilian employers regarding their rights and responsibilities governed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994. ESGR does not have statutory authority to enforce, but serves as a neutral, free resource to employers and service members.