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American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2009 – Fifteen employers from across the nation will receive the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award tomorrow for their support of Guard and Reserve employees.  

The ceremony is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center here.

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Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden – whose son, Beau, has deployed as a Delaware National Guard officer – will join top Defense Department officials including Dennis McCarthy, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, as well as members of Congress at the ceremony. The National Guard and Reserve members who nominated the recipients for the award also will attend.

The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their outstanding support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. The award is given to employers in three categories: large business, small business and the public sector. A record 3,202 nominations for the award were submitted by National Guard and Reserve members or their families from across the nation.

The National Guard and Reserve make up nearly half of the total U.S. military strength. The Defense Department shares these citizen-warriors with their civilian employers; many provide their military employees with exceptional support. This year's honorees range from a small race-car wind tunnel business in North Carolina to major technology and pharmaceutical corporations to a local police department.

The recipients are:

-- AeroDyn Wind Tunnel of Mooresville, N.C.;

-- AstraZeneca International of Wilmington, Del.;

-- Cambridge Fire Department of Cambridge, Mass.;

-- Consolidated Electrical Distributors of North Charleston, S.C.;

-- First Data Corp. of Atlanta;

-- FMC Technologies of Houston;

-- Jackson Parish Sheriff's Department of Jonesboro, La.;

-- The Marks, O'Neill, O'Brien & Courtney law firm of Wilmington, Del.;

-- Microsoft Corp. of Redmond, Wash.;

-- Mid America Kidney Stone Association of Kansas City, Mo.;

-- NetJets of Columbus, Ohio;

-- Ohio Department of Public Safety of Columbus;

-- Perpetual Technologies of Indianapolis;

-- Santa Ana Police Department of Santa Ana, Calif.; and

-- TriWest Healthcare Alliance of Phoenix.

Related Sites:
Special Report: 2009 Employer Support Freedom Awards
Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

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