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ESGR in the News


PHILADELPHIA – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, announced that the Fine Wine and Spirits store #9118 recently received the Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.

Fine Wine and Good Spirits store Supervisor Ashley Lewis was nominated for the Patriot Award by Pfc. Dara Alicea, a Reservist in the 949th Medical Detachment (Vet Services), based in Philadelphia.

In nominating Lewis, Alicea stated: “I get great support for my military service from Ashley. She is always willing to adjust the schedule to accommodate my training assemblies. I am mobilized now in Texas prior to nine a month deployment to Kuwait. Ashley has kept in touch with me, which is very reassuring. I know my job will be waiting for me when I return.”

Wes Craig, Pennsylvania ESGR Southeast Area Chair, presented the Patriot Award to Lewis. In presenting the award, Craig commented: “I know first-hand how critical it is to pay tribute to those companies and employers that hire and support our Guard and Reserve forces.” Upon receiving the Patriot Award, Lewis told Craig that Pfc. Alicea is an “excellent worker and she will always support employers in the Guard and Reserve.”

Lewis signed a Statement of Support. The Statement of Support confirms that the joins other employers in pledging:
• We fully recognize, honor, and comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA).
• We will provide our managers and supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
• We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans.
• We will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families, in peace, in crisis and in war.

“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” said Craig. “I am asking all Southeast Pennsylvania employers to take a look at their current human resources policies to incorporate policies supportive of Guard and Reserve employees.” Many Pennsylvania employers provide support above and beyond their legal requirements by law by offering pay-differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits, which complement coverage provided by the military, when their employees mobilize.”

Fine Wine and Spirits store #9118 joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces. Craig added: “By signing the Statement of Support, Fine Wine and Good Spirits is sending a clear message to its employees that while they are serving their country, they do not have to worry about their civilian jobs.”

ESGR, a Department of Defense office, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective, and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.

For more information about ESGR Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 1-800-336-4590 or visit

Posted in: Pennsylvania
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