Hospital VP receives ‘Patriot Award’ for support of citizen soldiers
Marc Truedson’s commitment to serve the country as a specialist in the Vermont National Guard means time away from work as a health care assistant at Gifford Medical Center. Truedson’s employer supports his time away, filling shifts so that he can serve.
Recently Truedson discovered a way to thank Gifford and his senior manager, Vice President of Surgery Rebecca O’Berry, for that support. He nominated O’Berry for a Patriot Award through the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).
The ESGR is a Department of Defense operational committee that, with the help of volunteers, promotes and enhances civilian employer support of citizen soldiers.
On Monday afternoon, Vermont ESGR Executive Director David Wheel delivered the award and many kind words to O’Berry and her team.
“On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, it’s my pleasure to present this to you,” said Wheel. “Thank you so much for the support you give to our citizen soldiers.”
Wheel extended his thanks to O’Berry’s team. “We know it really does take a village,” he said.
Staff shared Gifford’s long-standing commitment to support Guard and Reserve members.
Registered nurse Caitlyn Bushey, on hand for Monday’s award presentation, was interviewed while serving in her second deployment in Iraq for her position as a member of the Gifford operating room team. The former Guard member took Gifford’s call in a supply closet and the interview was stuttered by time delays.
Truedson was out of work for months when he first came home from serving overseas – until he found a job at Gifford. “Gifford was there for me when I got back from Afghanistan,” he said.
“We have a long history of doing this,” noted Jamie Floyd, surgery nurse manager.
Wheel was heartened by the stories and noted that many employers want to do the right thing. Not all make the commitment to do so, however.
For O’Berry, the decision to support staff like Truedson is a very easy one.
“They’re doing something for us, for all of us, and our job is to make that easier,” she said.
ESGR, a Department of Defense operational committee, was established in 1972 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. ESGR is supported by a network of more than 4,900 volunteers in 54 committees located across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Volunteers, hailing from small business and industry, government, education and prior military service bring a vast wealth of experience to assist in serving employers, service members and their families. Together with Headquarters ESGR staff and a small cadre of support staff for each State Committee, volunteers work to promote and enhance employer support for military service in the Guard and Reserve.
ESGR has served our country for 40 years, fostering a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. These citizen warriors could not defend and protect us at home and abroad without the continued promise of meaningful civilian employment for themselves and their families. ESGR has continued to adapt to meet the needs of Reserve Component members, their families and America’s employers by joining forces with a network of other national, state and local government and professional trade organizations as together, We All Serve!