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Northeastern Nevada employers lauded for exemplary military support

Nevada Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve representatives, civilian volunteers and Nevada National Guard Soldiers and Airmen take time for a photo in front of a Nevada Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during the ESGR Lunch With the Boss event on Wednesday in Carlin. The event was held to recognize more than 20 employers from law enforcement, higher education, the mining industry, local businesses and other organizations for their outstanding support of reserve component military service members.  (NV ANG photo by Master Sgt. Suzanne Connell RELEASED)

Nevada Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve representatives, civilian volunteers and Nevada National Guard Soldiers and Airmen take time for a photo in front of a Nevada Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during the ESGR Lunch With the Boss event on Wednesday in Carlin. The event was held to recognize more than 20 employers from law enforcement, higher education, the mining industry, local businesses and other organizations for their outstanding support of reserve component military service members. (NV ANG photo by Master Sgt. Suzanne Connell RELEASED)

CARLIN, Nev. -- Civilian employers from Elko, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, Carlin and other northeastern Nevada communities received recognition for their support of the reserve branches of the military at the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Lunch With the Boss event here Wednesday at the Nevada National Guard's Elko County Readiness Center.

The Department of Defense's ESGR program was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between reserve component service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment.

More than 20 organizations, including many from the government, law enforcement, education and mining sectors of the economy, were lauded for their support of their reserve military employees. Representing the City of Winnemucca was Mayor Di An Putnam.

The Lunch With the Boss event gave participants an opportunity to tour the Nevada Guard's newly-acquired Elko County Readiness Center. Obtained by the Nevada Guard just last year, the readiness center is about 20 miles west of Elko.

During the luncheon, attendees also received briefings on reserve military duties and participated in an award ceremony. Topics included the value companies' receive by hiring Guardsmen as well as employment recruitment opportunities through the "Hero 2 Hired" program.

Several Nevada law enforcement agencies attended the event. Representatives from Nevada Highway Patrol included Capt. Thomas Merschel from Elko and Sgt. John Sivia. Sivia is a lieutenant with Nevada Army Guard's 221st Cavalry Squadron.

"We are very proud of the sacrifices that John and his wife make to serve in both the Department of Public Safety and the Nevada National Guard," Merschel said. Sivia's wife is a dispatch supervisor with the NHP.

Sgt. Dolyn Peterson of the Army Guard's 593rd Transportation Company's Elko detachment attended the event with his civilian occupation supervisor, Newmont Mining's Matt Macias.

"Our experience with hiring Guardsmen has been a positive one. Dolyn has proven to be a great worker with a great work ethic and he's a big asset to our team," Macias said.

Among the awards the Nevada ESGR presented to civilian employers were the Patriot Award, the Seven Seals Award, and the Above and Beyond Award. Community volunteers were also acknowledged with certificates and ESGR coins.

The Patriot Award is given to organizations that support reservists in a wide range of ways, including schedule flexibility, pre- and post deployment time off, and other family care measures.

The Seven Seals Award recognizes individual or organizational achievement, initiative, or support that promotes and supports the ESGR mission.

The Above and Beyond Award is presented by ESGR state committees to recognize employers at the local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and provide their Guard and reserve employees non-mandated benefits such as differential pay to offset lost wages, extended health benefits and other unrequired benefits.

The ESGR program includes more than 4,700 volunteers working throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.