BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Annually, the 934th Airlift Wing (AW) hosts an Employer’s Day. This event is a longed-for opportunity for the wing to give back to its employers who support the 934 AW Airmen and its mission.
However, last year the wing wasn’t able to entertain the idea of presenting an Employer’s Day due to the pandemic, but on August 7 this year the event was resumed.
“This is the very first one we’ve done since the onset of the pandemic,” said Bob Boone, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Minnesota Boss Lift Coordinator.
An integral part of any 934 AW Employer’s Day is the support of ESGR. ESGR is a Department of Defense program that advocates open communication and building on the relationship between military service members and their employers.
After more than a year, Employer’s Day was back and the 934 AW hosted the event for 12 supportive employers.
The tour started with an introduction and wing mission briefing by Col. Chris Lay, 934 AW commander, and Boone, representing ESGR. After the brief, employers touring a static C-130H aircraft with pilots and loadmasters present to answer questions. This was followed by a display of special equipment used by the Air Force to complete its daily mission. The tour concluded with a weapons display and employers met with their Citizen Airmen for lunch at the community activity center.
Matthew Stokes, the owner of Safety Training and Response Strategies, tried on the night vision goggles during the tour. He emphasized this personal experience didn’t compare to what he saw on television. “It’s a gee-whiz item. You’re sitting in the absolute dark and then you put them on and then all of a sudden you can see. That’s really cool stuff!”
Boone said the feedback he heard from the attending employers was they were all excited to be there. “The nice thing for ESGR with these events is it allows employers to talk to each other on what other employers are doing to support their service members.”
Another reason Employer’s Day is crucial to employers’ relations is because it provides an opportunity for the wing to showcase its capabilities and better define the wing’s role in the overall defense of the nation.
Terri Greenberg, who works risk management for Securian Financial Group, Inc., was invited by 1st Lt. Loren Sadlack, 934th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron health administrator, to Employer’s Day. Greenberg said she hasn’t had a lot of exposure to the military, however, Employer’s Day was a great introduction.
“It is important for the employers and community to have more visibility into the sacrifices our reservists humbly accept in terms of financial output, time and effort to serve. I have seen first-hand the balancing act that Loren manages with his commitments to faith, family, work, volunteering and now, in his role in the Air Force Reserve,” said Greenberg.
Sadlack has been with Securian Financial Group, Inc. for over a year and what drew him to the company was how the company supports its service members. Therefore, there was no hesitation by him to invite Greenberg to Employer’s Day. “It’s a super small token, but it’s a good way of saying thank you.”
The 934 AW hopes to resume Employer’s Day flights starting next year.
Photo: Employers and Air Wing Service Members on tarmac prior to tour of aircraft.