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Luis Trevino, Military Family Network
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, May 12, 2010 --- On Saturday, May 1st, Major General Mari K. Eder, newly appointed Executive Director of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), dropped in to visit the Army Reserve's Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program in Salt Lake City, Utah. As she made her way to the ESGR booth, the General spoke with Army leadership, staff and program instructors; visited with resource providers and community partners like the Military Family Network; and, interacted with soldiers and families attending the event.
The Secretary of Defense initiated the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program to provide information, services, referrals, and proactive outreach programs to soldiers of the Army Reserve and their families through all phases of the deployment cycle.
According to the Army Reserve Family Program website, "the goal of the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is to prepare Soldiers and Families for mobilization, to sustain Families during mobilization, and to reintegrate Soldiers with their Families, communities, and employers upon redeployment or REFRAD."
ESGR's vital role as an advocate for deployed soldiers within the community and with employers at large, prompted MG Eder's onsite visit. The forum provided an excellent opportunity for her to witness the import of ESGR's mission in action.
ESGR's goal is to gain and maintain support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law, and resolving conflicts between employers and service members. ESGR serves as a neutral, free resource to service members and employers by providing information and education regarding their rights and responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
The Utah Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense volunteer organization that seeks to develop and promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees.
Jesse Medina, U.S. Army retiree, ESGR volunteer and Yellow Ribbon instructor, initiated the invitation.
"I heard that Major General Eder was in town and placed a call to her office," said Medina, "and while I didn't know if she would be available to attend, I thought of how inspiring it would be for the troops and ESGR volunteers if she could visit. We were delighted by her acceptance of our invitation and honored by her presence."
The visit culminated when Major General Eder presented Army Specialist Jennifer Morgan with recognition for outstanding service by presenting Morgan with the General's personalized coin.
Even hours later, Specialist. Morgan stated, "My feet haven't touched down yet!"