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ESGR in the News


SAUK RAPIDS, Minn. – Shannon Wander, spouse of Sgt. 1st Class Adam Wander Army National Guard, is presenting the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award to her employment supervisor, Chris Anderson.

The award was given on Dec. 8 at the Great River Federal Credit Union in recognition of Anderson's assistance and support to Shannon Wander when her husband was called up for his military duties. Wander was very appreciative of Anderson's support and assistance with her husband's Guard deployments and wanted to honor him.

"Chris Anderson at Great River Federal Credit Union has-been exceptional in his support of the Minnesota Army National Guard,” said Shannon Wander. “While my husband, SFC [Sgt. 1st Class] Adam Wander, was deployed from 2021 to 2022, Chris was extremely flexible while I managed everything at home with my two young children. From sudden changes in daycare schedules to urgent care visits with sick children, Chris never hesitated to provide me with the time needed to take care of any issues that arose while acting as a single parent. This support has continued through SFC Wander's return home and his continued service to the MNARNG. As extended training weekends and lengthy training events come and go, support has not gone unnoticed, and it is greatly appreciated."

During the presentation Chris Anderson said, "On behalf of the employees of Great River Federal Credit Union we are proud of the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve for their ongoing commitment to serving our country. We recognize the effort it takes to protect our country and the sacrifices made by our troops and their families. Our organization places great value on the relationships we have with our team members. Those families, who are impacted by deployment, are dealing with dramatic changes to their daily lives so their loved ones are able to serve our country. This level of commitment is greatly appreciated and honored here at Great River Federal Credit Union. Thank you to the ESGR for this recognition and for all you do for our troops."

Anderson signed an ESGR Statement of Support demonstrating that Great River Federal Credit Union is committed to assisting its employees and their spouses with both their military duties and their employment.

Also present was Bob Adams an ESGR Ombudsman/Minnesota Committee member, Capt. Scott Longhofer, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Pantze, and Chief Executive Officer of Great River Federal Credit Union Brant Hicks.

ESGR is a Department of Defense office that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the National Guard and Reserve through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. ESGR also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers. This year, ESGR celebrates 50 years of excellence in support of the Reserve Components and their civilian employers. For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

Group Photo left to right: Bob Adams, Sgt. 1st Class Adam Wander, Shannon Wander, Chris Anderson, Capt. Scott Longhofer, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Pantze, CEO Brant Hicks. (Photo courtesy of Heather Helmbrecht)

Statement of Support Photo: Chris Anderson (Photo courtesy of Bob Adams)



Posted in: Minnesota
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