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WASHINGTON – As thousands of volunteers gathered to lay wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery, more than 50 trucking industry representatives signed Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statements of Support at the National Women’s Memorial Friday.

The trucking industry representatives were in town delivering wreaths in support of Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization which coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 3,400 locations across the United States, at sea and abroad.

“The tradition of recognizing the trucking companies with a Statement of Support during the Wreaths Across America began in 2015 with just a few companies primarily based on the East Coast, hauling the wreaths down from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery,” said Bruce Townshend, ESGR’s chief of employer engagement. “But interest in the SOS program has grown in recent years, requiring a bigger space for this ceremony, and we’re grateful to the National Women’s Memorial for hosting us this year.”

The signing of Statements of Support confirms that the trucking companies join thousands of other supportive 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.

“For more than 50 years, employers have gone above and beyond in support of Guard and Reserve service members. We thank them for this, and this selfless contribution to Wreaths Across America,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Robbie Underhill, ESGR’s Executive Director.

“I am honored to be standing before you today for our 6th Statement of Support Signing Ceremony,” said Brad Bentley, president of FASTPORT, Inc. “Between this event, and others conducted across the country, FASTPORT has encouraged and worked with more than 370 employers to make a public show of support for their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.” 

ESGR, established in 1972, is 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 develops and promotes supportive work environments for Service members in the Reserve Components through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. It also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.

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Photo 1 – Trucks deliver wreaths to volunteers at the 31st Wreaths Across America Day at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Dec. 17, 2022. Just the day before, representatives from the trucking industry signed Statements of Support during an Employer Support for Guard and Reserve ceremony, expressing commitment to their own military employees throughout the year. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser / Arlington National Cemetery / released)

Photo 2 – Representatives from the trucking industry pose for a group photo with signed Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statements of Support Dec. 16, 2022. (Photo by Julie Weckerlein, ESGR Public Affairs)



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