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ESGR in the News


YORK, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an office of the Department of Defense, announced that Pyramid Healthcare recently received a Patriot Award and Seven Seals Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.  Pennsylvania ESGR is particularly proud to present employers with a Patriot Award for their strong support of their employees serving in our nation’s Reserve forces during ESGR’s 50th Anniversary year. 

Pyramid Healthcare’s Clinical Director Joshua Talarico was nominated for the Patriot Award by Sgt. Logan Merken of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s 328th Brigade Support Battalion in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.  In nominating Talarico for the Patriot Award, Merken commented: “Mr. Talarico hired me a month before I was scheduled to leave for the NTC [National Training Center, Fort Irvin, California]  He changed my start date to accommodate my duty orders.  He completely adapted my orientation schedule and created a personalized action plan that enabled me to start work while also preparing for deployment to the NTC.”  Merken added: “Josh has consistently demonstrated a high regard for my military service and provides a level of security for my family.”  

Presenting the Patriot and Seven Seals awards on behalf of ESGR was James Astor, Pennsylvania South Central Area Chair.  Astor noted that the Patriot Award “recognizes supervisors and bosses for their support provided directly to the nominating service member and his or her family; it 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 presenting the Seven Seals Award, Astor said: “it is the broadest and most inclusive award given by ESGR and is presented at the discretion of the State Chair or by ESGR senior leadership. The Seven Seals Award is presented in recognition of significant individual or organizational achievement, initiative, or support that promotes and supports the ESGR mission, to include the efforts of the more than 3,600 volunteers who carry out ESGR’s mission across the Nation on a daily basis.”  Astor also took the opportunity to present Talarico with an ESGR 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin in appreciation for the outstanding support Pyramid Health provides to members of the National Guard and Reserve forces.

Astor commented: “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.”  Astor added: “Today’s members of the Guard and Reserves are highly trained and skilled; they bring integrity, a global perspective and, proven leadership to the civilian workforce.”  

In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Astor obtained a Statement of Support from Pyramid Healthcare. The Statement of Support confirms that the Pyramid Healthcare 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.

“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” said Astor.  “I am asking all South Central 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.”

Pyramid Healthcare joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces.  Astor added: “By signing the Statement of Support, the Pyramid Healthcare 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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