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Governor Jay Inslee signals support of Guard and Reserves

A signature with big results

Gov. Jay Inslee signs a Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve, an initiative supported by the Employer Support of The Guard and Reserve, or ESGR. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Little actions matter, and may they grow to make a large difference.

"Small things make a big difference," Gov. Jay Inslee said seconds after signing a Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve Friday in the Capitol Building.

"By working to make our citizen-soldiers' employment status secure when they are called to active duty, we help their families and employers."

Joining Inslee were members of the Washington National Guard, Reserves and eight businesses that have pledged to hire Guardsmen and Reservists.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) has actively promoted the statement of support and promoted awareness of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

Established in 1972, the organization is a Department of Defense organization that works to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees.

Progress has been made.

"We work to partner with all to use job resources well," commented Gary Condra, deputy director, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, said.

"We exist to serve those who serve, and we are making headway."

>>> The Employer Support of The Guard And Reserve (ESGR) promoted an initiative to promote further employment opportunities for Guard and Reserve personnel. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

The nation's Reservists and Guardsmen from all branches of service comprise nearly 48 percent of the total available military personnel.

Being almost half of the nation's total force has led Robert DeWald, chair of the Washington ESGR, to contact Inslee.

"We asked the Governor to help us," he said before the signing ceremony.

"In less than two months, Governor Inslee arranged to meet with us and sign this statement of support of the state's Guard and Reserve personnel.  We greatly appreciate his support, and we hope businesses around the state follow suit."

United Parcel Service is one such company setting the pace and example.

In 2013 the world's largest shipment and logistics company announced its commitment to hire more than 25,000 veterans over the next five years.

"We are also committed to helping veterans transition into the civilian workforce," Kristal Fiser, director of government affairs, said before meeting Inslee.

"Veterans, National Guard and Reserve members make up 7.5 percent of UPS's domestic workforce, and we honor their service and sacrifice."

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