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Locals gather to discuss ESGR

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By Ralph Damiani

What is “Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve” (ESGR)?A group of Los Alamos residents gathered Tuesday at Central Avenue Grill for lunch and information on just that question.The program was led by Velton Stevens, the state chairman of the organization, who explained that ESGR is a Department of Defense organization.He said that the nation’s Reserve components comprise some 46 percent of its total available military manpower.And he told the gathering that our Reserve forces spend more time away from the workplace defending the nation, supporting demanding operations and training to maintain their mission readiness.In this environment, civilian employers play a critical role in the defense of the nation by complying with existing employment laws protecting the rights of workers who serve in the Reserve component, according to reports from ESGR.Stevens said that ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment.Today, ESGR operates through a network of hundreds of volunteers throughout the nation. It helps both the employer and employee understand their rights. From assistance to education, ESGR works for the United States’ returning service personnel.It is in this vein that several Los Alamos residents gathered, to see if a branch was needed on the HillA local committee would educate businesses and assist the guardsmen and reservists.Heading up the local effort is Nona Bowman. Bowman told the group that the first thing necessary was to look at the organizational structure and determine if a local group was possible. To that end, a committee that included Bowman and Michael Wismer was named to look into the structure and makeup of a board.They are to report back to the others in a month.If anyone is interested in ESGR or helping in the local effort, contact any of the study committee members for more information.

Editor’s Note: Ralph Damiani is also on the ESGR committee named at Tuesday’s meeting.