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May 20, 2010
UD Nominated for 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

The University of Dubuque has been nominated to receive the 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award is the U.S. Government's highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. The Freedom Award is particularly significant because only members of the National Guard and Reserve or their family members are eligible to nominate their employers.

The University was nominated by Gerard "Skip" Hefel, IT network support specialist, and a member of the United States Navy Reserve.

"The University of Dubuque provides me a working environment that promotes high values which fall in line with those of our Armed Forces - commitment to excellence, honor, courage, and fair treatment for all," stated Hefel. As a Navy IT (information systems technician) I enjoy working to support UD's Army ROTC department. Our services are becoming joint forces - staff from one service supporting another service. The University has always been supportive of its ROTC program, student veterans, and employees. I am proud to have nominated UD for the Employer Support of the Guard Award."

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972 that seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. Previous honorees include American Express, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Sears, Home Depot, the State of Tennessee, and the Winner School District of South Dakota.