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ESGR in the News


CAMBRIDGE, Minn. – Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Joseph Willaert nominated his employment supervisor, Barry Wendorf for an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award. The award was given Feb. 6 at an Isanti County Board of Commissioners Public meeting in recognition of Barry’s support of his employee's service to the Minnesota Air National Guard.

Willaert nominated Barry for this Patriot Award because he was very appreciative of Barry's support and assistance with his training, service and deployments and wanted to honor Barry.

An employee serving in the National Guard or Military Reserve, or the spouse of a National Guard or Military Reserve member, may nominate individual supervisors for the Patriot Award for support provided directly to the nominating service member and his or her family. The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.

In addition to being presented a Patriot Award, Barry signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support, confirming that Isanti County 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 crises and in war.

Also present were Bob Boone and John Briegel as ESGR Minnesota Committee members. 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 over 51 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

Photo left to right: Barry Wendorf and John Briegel. Staff Sgt. Willaert was not present for a photo as he is currently deployed and requested Barry be honored in his absence.
(Photo courtesy of Bob Boone)

Posted in: Minnesota
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