(Roanoke, VA) – The Virginia Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, awarded the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office an Above and Beyond Award in recognition of extraordinary support of its employees who serve in the Virginia National Guard and Reserve at its annual awards ceremony on Saturday. The Adjutant General of Virginia, MG Daniel E. Long, Jr., spoke about the relationship between the Guard and Reserve and civilian employers, and Ms. Louise Kadiri read a statement from Senator Mark Warner. “The military is not just a job. It’s a way of life, and employers are part of it,” Long stated. Noting that “the Guard and Reserve will have an increasing role in national security,” he repeated a quote from Kenneth Preston, the recently retired Sergeant Major of the Army, who urged the Army to provide for families left behind with the same vigor it showed on the field.
Roger Trout, Chair of the Virginia ESGR Committee and Steve Villapando, Vice Chair, commended the award recipients for their leadership in not only supporting their employees and their service but going above and beyond in their commitment to their citizen soldiers. Sergeant John Tanner, who nominated the sheriff’s office, stated, “Even during these hard financial times the Sheriff’s support of the Guard members has been 100%.” Even though a third of his road deputies also serve in the Army National Guard and the county is one of the largest in Virginia, Sheriff Stanley Noblin “continues to provide services for the county and promote a Guard-friendly environment,” even when three of his deputies were on active duty for the Guard at the same time. “It’s a big honor for me to work side-by-side with the protectors of freedom,” he said as he accepted his award. “It’s an honor to call them friends, because these are the people who I trust my family and my country to.”
Employers are nominated each year by a service member who wishes to recognize the exceptional support to their military career provided by their civilian employers. The Above and Beyond Award recognizes employers “who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements for granting leave and providing support for military duty by their employees.” More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at www.esgr.mil, or by calling 804-236-7493.