HORSHAM, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, provided support to employers and Air National Guard (ANG) members of the 111th Attack Wing at the Biddle Air National Guard Base.
Base ANG Family Programs Coordinator Anna Richar organized the event and invited Pennsylvania ESGR participation. Members of the ANG unit, family, and employers were invited to participate in the day’s activities. Attendees were introduced to or refamiliarized with ESGR’s missions and services by Pennsylvania Southeast Area volunteer Jenny Pappas and Volunteer Support Technician Theresa Arentzen. Pappas noted that this was a particularly rewarding event because it offered a singular opportunity to simultaneously meet with both Guard personnel and employers in one venue. It also gave Pappas and Arentzen time to celebrate ESGR’s 50th Anniversary with attendees.
As Pennsylvania ESGR’s VST whose office is on the base noted, the family day was “extremely important” because it was the first one held since the COVID outbreak. Both Arentzen and Pappas received on members’ rights and answered employer questions. Several employers also signed Statements of Support for the Guard and Reserves; Pappas noted: “It’s critical and an honor to recognize and pay tribute to those employers that hire and support our Guard and Reserve forces. It would be difficult for those in the uniformed services to perform their mission without employer support.”
The Statement of Support confirms that the Pennsylvania employers join other employers in pledging:
“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” said Pappas. “I am asking all Southeastern Area Pennsylvania employers 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.”
Well known VIPs were present during the family day lunch to demonstrate their support of the Guard and Reserves: Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers, the Mandalorian, and most notably in Arantzen’s words, “the best mascot in all of baseball”: The Phillie Phanatic; see accompanying photos.
ESGR, a Department of Defense program, 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 www.ESGR.mil