Today, more than one million Americans serve in the National Guard and Reserve, representing over half our nation’s military. These brave men and women have committed their lives to the service of their country’s national defense—yet, many struggle to find support as they navigate balancing their military and civilian lives. Hoping to encourage greater reprieve for troops, the Department of Defense established the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) in 1972 for the purpose of recognizing employers that are supportive of their employee’s military commitment. During a gracious visit from ESGR State Chair Patty Wilbanks and Southcentral Chair Matt Webster, AHVI was formally recognized as a supportive employer and national award semi-finalist.
Out of over 2,600 national nominations, AHVI was selected as a semi-finalist for the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom award—an award that is bestowed upon employers who demonstrate committed support for their employees in service to the U.S. National Guard or Reserve. AHVI’s nomination was submitted by Technical Sergeant Amanda Marlett, who serves as a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
In discussing her motivations for selecting AHVI as her nominee, Ms. Martlett cited AHVI’s continuous support of her service, hosting an event to celebrate her re-enlistment, staying in contact while she served abroad, and accommodating her leave of absence. While AHVI’s nomination did not continue to the finals, ESGR further honored us by presenting us with a special Above and Beyond award that reads, “Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve presents the Above and Beyond Award to Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute presented on behalf of the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve Forces, for outstanding service and continuing to support the national defense,” and is signed by National Chair Mr. Ronald E. Bogle and Executive Director CAPT Robert Underhill of ESGR.
It is our distinct honor to be considered among such a distinguished cohort, and for being recognized as in alignment with a cause we are so passionately supportive of. We are humbled by the bravery and grace each Guard and Reserve member dedicates in service of our country, our communities, and our homes. Our heartfelt thanks go to the ESGR for fostering greater community support for our service members, to our troops for safeguarding our borders—and to Amanda Martlett, who we are grateful to call one of our own.