National Guard thanks employers who support the Guard

Published: Jul. 27, 2017 at 3:33 PM PDT
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It was a dual purpose for a Chinook helicopter flight over Lake Tahoe Thursday. For the crew, it means flight hours. For the passengers, it's a way of saying thank you to the agencies that employ members of the Nevada National Guard. More than 400 have been deployed in the past two years.

"Some of these deployments can be more than a year, so sometimes these employers have employees taken for a year and that's not easy," said Tech. Sgt. Emerson Marcus. "It's not easy on the guardsmen and their families and it's also tough on those employers."

Sgt. Cody Carr, an avionics technician, has served for almost nine years. He also works at Sierra Nevada Corporation, a company he says has always been supportive of his military obligations.

"Very supportive; there are a lot of veterans that work there and everyone that's not a vet, they either tried to join or wish they could have," Carr said.

This flight was a chance to show his program manager and lead electrical engineer what he does outside the office.

"It's eye-opening to see what these aircraft can do and watching the guys that take care of them is amazing," said John Whipple, a program manager at Sierra Nevada Corporation. "We have multiple guardsmen and vets on our team. Sierra Nevada Corporation seeks to hire vets because they serve our country; we should serve them."

A federal program started in the 1970's called the ESGR works as a go-between for the employers and the members of the Guard. The goal is to advance career opportunities and make sure jobs are still there when these men and women return home.

"Northern Nevada is very pro-military; they understand what their Guardsmen and Reservists have to do to fulfill their obligations with the nation and the state," Marcus said.

"The skills that they learn in the military, things like leadership and tech skills, are very applicable to what we do," Whipple said. "It also helps us to know we're going to have people that stand up and fight for our country."