SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
The Texas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Area 4, held the annual Salute to Employers Awards luncheon Nov. 13, at the Double Tree Hotel in downtown San Antonio in conjunction with Celebrate America’s Military, or CAM, events.
The keynote speaker for the event was Angela Salinas, who currently serves as the chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. Salinas, a retired U.S. Marine Corp major general, explained why Reservists and Guardsmen decide to serve and the impact it has on the employer and the employee.
"As an employer you might not understand why someone chooses to serve in the Guard or the Reserve or because they served on active duty many, many years and but then they chose to join the Guard or Reserve," Salinas said. “There is just one single thing that bonds every single one of us and it just comes with a few simple words: 'I do solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.'"
Salinas also highlighted the role of employers.
“Today, those of you being recognized, you are the above and beyond award because you do so much more and your employees, they appreciate it as do their families. There is comfort in knowing someone has your back.”
In addition to highlighting the importance of the relationship between the employers and Reservists, the luncheon is an opportunity for Reservists to honor civilian employers for their continued support.
Two 433rd Airlift Wing Reserve Citizen Airmen employers were recognized as Above and Beyond 2019 employers. Airman 1st Class Shamia Coleman, 433rd Medical Squadron public health, nominated the Wagner High School’s Guidance and Counseling services leadership. Chief Master Sgt. Andrew Branning, 433rd Airlift Wing staff, nominated his employer, CloudWave.
According to the ESGR website, it is a Department of Defense program 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.
“The over two-week celebration during the first few weeks of November features more than a dozen events, making it the largest of its kind nationwide,” states the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s CAM website. The event was launched in 1970.