By Lindsay Lorenz
PBN Staff Writer
(Updated, 12:33 p.m.)
WASHINGTON – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense operational committee, today announced nine Rhode Island National Guard and reserve service members have nominated their civilian employers for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense’s highest recognition for employers supporting employees serving in the Guard and Reserve, according to a release.
Nominated employers include Cranston Public Schools; Twin River Casino, Lincoln; Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport; Social Security Administration, Providence; Evolution Wireless/MetroPCS, Warwick; Amgen, West Greenwich; Kent County Water Authority, West Warwick; and CVS Caremark in Woonsocket, which received more than one nomination. Cranston Public Schools was also nominated last year, and was named a finalist.
Out of the nearly 3,000 nominations received from across the nation, up to 15 award recipients will be selected and announced during the summer. Recipients will be honored in Washington, D.C., at the 18th annual Freedom Award ceremony, and may have the chance to meet with senior leaders of the White House and Department of Defense.
“Every year, these nominations demonstrate the strength of our employers’ commitment to supporting our guardsmen and reservists,” said James G. Rebholz, ESGR national chair. “We applaud all the National Guard and reserve service members who took the time to tell the [Department of Defense] why their employers are exceptional, and we are grateful to the 2013 nominees for providing our citizen warriors with the assistance and encouragement they rely on while answering the call to duty.”
Since 1996, 175 employers have been honored with the awards. Citizens Financial Group in Providence was a 2005 recipient of the award, the state's only to date. In 2011, Amica Mutual Insurance Co. in Lincoln was named a finalist.