Like many of us who have been on the sidelines since 9/11, I have sought to serve in my own way by volunteering with the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). See www.ESGR.mil. This organization of 4,900 volunteers seek to encourage and support the civilian employment of our Reserve Component servicemembers. We do this in three ways: First, we recognize those employers who have demonstrated exemplary support for our servicemembers by a system of awards; second, we educate employers and servicemembers regarding their rights and obligations under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA); and finally we provide mediation services to resolve conflicts between servicemembers and their civilian employers so that they will continue having a productive and amicable employment relationship.
Recently we have been tasked to encourage employment of our veterans and reserve component servicemembers through the “Hero 2 hired” program (www.H2H.jobs). There are many benefits to hiring our heroes, and try to educate employers to consider these benefits when hiring.
Consider how you can help. Demonstrate your support by signing a Statement of Support (on the ESGR website), and even hiring a servicemember/veteran. If you want to volunteer, see the ESGR website for opportunities in your area.