ESGR -- for the forgotten Wingman

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Michael E. Laughton
  • 459th Air Refueling Wing
You're home now. Your deployment is behind you. Just as you were challenged with landing, quickly adapting, and performing a war-fighting mission, your challenge is now to turn in your weapon, get back into that peacetime routine, and catch up with life. While you were gone, your family and friends supported you, and pitched in to take care of your responsibilities.

You had many "Wingmen." One seldom remembered is your employer, the person who worked around your absence and kept the shop running. True, it was their business they were running, but when you came back from deployment, the business still existed; therefore your job still existed. Maybe your employer provided some benefits while you were gone. The big thing is you still have a job to come back to. Don't you think it would be cool to at least say, "Thanks?"

Hey, you can do a lot more than just say thanks, and it's easy. The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve has an outstanding, simple, and painless way to get your boss some first-class recognition at no cost and little effort to you! The Web site,, has on the lower right corner, a link labeled "Award Your Employer: Nominate your boss for a Patriot Award." Click on that and the nomination form appears. Just a couple things are required:

1. Your name and address
2. Your boss' name and address
3. Your unit's name and address (hey, remember the 459th ARW?)

Then there's a small box where all you do is type a few lines as to what your boss did for you. Did you accrue leave? Did the company continue to pay you, at least the difference between your military pay and your civilian salary? Did your office stay in contact with you? Did your boss at least wish you luck as you left?

What happens when you nominate a boss for an award? They automatically win a visit from local ESGR representatives who'll visit the workplace and present a Patriot's Award certificate to your boss. If you typed up some great bullets, the local ESGR committee will decide if your nomination rates something better. Your boss may qualify for several levels of awards. Does it require thinking on your part? Not really ... the local ESGR committee does the legwork for you and will make the additional presentations as deemed fit. You did your bit when you visited the ESGR Web site.

Remember how good it felt when someone took the time to look you in the eye, shake your hand and say, "Thank you?" Share that rare feeling. Visit the ESGR Webs site and nominate your employer. For more info, contact Lt. Col. Mike "Mel" Laughton, 240-857-3765 or visit