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General tours local armory, Gold Star Memorial

April 1, 2019
Jennifer Astello - Correspondent , Estherville News

Wednesday, March 27 ESGR held an event at the Estherville National Guard Armory. ESGR stands for Employer Support of The Guard and Reserve.

ESGR hosts events across the United States to inform and educate service members and their employers about the benefits of hiring service members and the service member's rights as an employee.

ESGR MISSION STATEMENT- "Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for Service members in the Reserve Components through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. It also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between the Service members and their employers."

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Wednesday's event included lunch, helicopter rides at the Estherville Airport and firing a M119 Alpha 3 Cannon.

Part of the event included Dr. Greg Williams receiving a gold coin from Brigadier General Stephen E. Osborn for his dedication of serving the National Guard as one of the only local dentists who accept TRICARE insurance. Osborn expressed his gratitude for always getting his soldiers in for dental care.

Ryan Morphew also received a Gold Coin for his service, as he will be retiring soon.

Volunteers from the Estherville community dedicated their time to serve at this event. Judi Hoffman and Cindy Bethune served lunch.

The day was filled with excitement and enthusiasm. Five volunteers from the community were selected to fire the cannon for the National Guard.

Soldiers explained the process and educated the listeners about the accuracy of their equipment.

Soldiers from Kosovo also joined the event, talking with the community and joining in fellowship.

"What a fantastic event," said Dave Kimbell from Spencer, Iowa, a volunteer for the ESGR. "We had a great turn out with businesses and people who are business owners, managers and HR people. Because they have an interest in the soldiers and citizen soldiers that work for them, and their rules and regulations that determine their deployments and how they interact between their service commitments at their business commitments. So, this was a great opportunity for the business people to see some of the fun things that these guys do like firing guns, and other things that they get to work with, and they even got a helicopter ride."

Kimbell stands as an advocate for ESGR and expresses great enthusiasm about all the wonderful benefits of hiring somebody with military experience, and how it can really enhance your business. He says training time is less and people show up for work more often.

"Some of the best employees that we as business people can hire are military folks-they've learned the right things, they've learned management skills, they've learned leadership skills, they've learned how to observe a process and say, 'I can make that better.' Those are all things that the military teaches these young men and woman-we can use those in the business environment," said Kimbell.

Visit for more information about the organization. You can also go out to your local armory or go to which can help you interact with people who are getting ready to retire out of the military and looking for work and businesses that are hiring.



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