The Virginia House of Delegates conducted a special signing ceremony Thursday for the Virginia Committee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Members of the House of Delegates signed Statements of Support for the ESGR, pledging to recognize, honor, and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
“Virginia is proud to be home to so many veterans, military personnel, and their families, all of whom sacrifice so much to protect and serve our Commonwealth and country,” said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). “The Employer Statement of Support represents our commitment to the men and women of Virginia’s National Guard and Reserve. We are grateful for their service and will do everything we can to support and assist them.”
The Statement of Support is a public declaration by an employer to recognize and protect the rights of National Guard and Reserve members when they must take leave from civilian employment in order to fulfill their service in the military. More information on the statement of support can be found here.
“Despite their part-time status, the men and women of the Guard and Reserve have an enormous responsibility. They are a key part of our national defense and stand prepared to serve our communities in times of natural disaster and emergency,” said House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights). “The civilian jobs of these heroes should never be in jeopardy when they answer the call to serve. I am proud to join my House colleagues in signing the statement of support. It is a small token of our gratitude and appreciation.”
The ESGR was formed in 1972 as an office of the Department of Defense. Their mission is to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment. More information on the ESGR can be found here.
“The ESGR is a critical support component for the men and women who wear the cloth of the country in war, crisis, and peace in faraway places when freedom faces its maximum danger,” said retired Air Force Col. and Delegate Rich Anderson (R-Prince William). Del. Anderson serves as the Co-Chair of the General Assembly Military and Veterans Caucus. “I am proud to pledge my commitment to the Guard and Reserve by signing the statement of support. I want to thank the Committee of Employer Support for their contributions to our nation. I especially want to recognize the Virginia Chairman of the ESGR Steve Villalpando. Steve is a tireless advocate for our veterans and those who serve today. We are grateful for his efforts and proud to stand with him,” Anderson added.