WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King congratulated 10 Maine employers on Friday for being nominated by the Department of Defense for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
The award is the Department of Defense’s highest recognition for employers supporting employees who are serving in the Guard and Reserve.
Nearly one-half of the U.S. military is composed of Guard and Reserve members. While most Guard and Reserve employers proudly support their military employees, Freedom Award recipients are recognized for going to extraordinary lengths for their Guardsmen and women and Reservists.
“We salute these outstanding Maine employers for going above and beyond in their support to their Guard and Reserve employees, who make enormous personal sacrifices by putting their civilian lives on hold to serve our country,” Sens. Collins and King said in a joint statement. “These 10 Maine organizations serve as a model for our nation as to how we should support and accommodate the service and sacrifices of our heroic military men and women.”
Sen. Collins is a senior member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee and Sen. King is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Guard and Reserve Service members from across the country, or family members acting on their behalf, nominated their civilian employers for the Freedom Award during the 12-week nomination season that closed in January. Up to 15 award recipients nationwide will be announced this summer and honored in Washington, D.C., later this year at the 18th annual Freedom Award ceremony. Past award recipients have met with senior leaders of the White House and Department of Defense as part of the award recognition.
Freedom Award nominations from Maine for 2013 are: Central Maine Power Co., Augusta; State of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Bureau of Warden Service, Augusta; Milton CAT, Brewer; Volunteers of America Northern New England, Brunswick; United States Postal Service, Camden; Mayo Regional Hospital, Dover-Foxcroft; Spurling Training Systems, Kennebunk; Cascades Auburn Fiber Inc., Lewiston; University of Southern Maine, Portland; and Kennebec Behavioral Health, Waterville.