This week has been singled out to honor businesses that have employees in the National Guard — and who support the guardmembers service. Governor Culver issued a proclamation naming it “Iowa Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week” and announced winners of the Iowa Freedom Awards that honor employers for their guard support. Carol Bodensteiner, a volunteer of the Iowa Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, says employers are required to give soldiers their job back after deployment.
But those that won the awards went beyond that. She says the businesses were exceptional in their support of guardmembers and went beyond the law. Bodensteiner says employers help guardmembers and their families in many ways. Bodensteiner says their efforts range from providing support to a family member, to mowing the law or keeping in touch with the soldiers. She says others do things like maintaining the soldier’s salary and health benefits while they are deployed, which the law does not require.
Bodensteiner says the employers understand the importance of guardmembers. She says the employers appreciate what the soldiers are doing to protect the country, whether it be overseas, or in the state helping with flood recovery. Bodensteiner says it’s more important than every to have good support from employers for the soldiers who temporarily leave their jobs to serve.
Bodensteiner says the National Guard and reserve make up almost 50% of the active duty fighting force now, so the country relies on them in a way not seen before. She says that makes it important to recognize employers who support the guardmembers. The winners of the Iowa Freedom Awards are: large employer, Decker Truck Lines of Fort Dodge; small employer, The Printer, Inc of Des Moines; and in the public sector, the Iowa State Patrol Post 14 in Ottumwa. For more about about Iowa E.S.G.R. here.