Written by
Bonnie Laiderman, CEO

Young cadets receive WWII Tuskegee Airman, Jim Shipley's autographed book at the ESGR Awards Dinner.

It was an incredible honor to be in the room with so many military heroes at the 2017 Missouri ESGR Awards Dinner in Jefferson City August 25 as we received the Above and Beyond Award, from the US Department of Defense. The most touching moment was watching World War II heroes interact with young, military-minded teenage cadets who served as the color guard.

The Importance of the Guard and Reserves

Our U.S. military could not exist without the National Guard and Reserves and the Guard and Reserves could not exist without support of employers. That was the mantra of all who spoke at the dinner and the reason for the ESGR. Unlike the WWII, Korean and Vietnam eras, today’s military is dependent on the National Guard and Reserves comprised of trained military soldiers with civilian jobs.

World War II Heroes at the 2017 Missouri ESGR Awards Dinner

The World War II Missouri veterans were: Jim Shipley and his wife Mildred from Tipton, Bill McAney and his wife Linda from Jefferson City, Robert Lumpkin and his friend Shirley Oyerly from Savannah Mo, and Ferrill Purdy from Columbia who could not attend but sent Michelle Spry on his behalf.

About the ESGR Awards

The Above and Beyond Award is presented by ESGR State Committees to recognize employers at the local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

Veterans Home Care was among some outstanding Missouri employers honored at this event: BJC Healthcare, World Wide Technologies, Rockwood School District, City of Waynesville and so many others.

ESGR, a Department of Defense office, depends on dedicated volunteers and staff to promote employer support for Guard and Reserve and I met quite a few of them. The room was filled with friends such as Missouri ESGR Military Outreach Coordinator, Jeanne Savel and new friends, US Navy Rear Admiral Retired Lee J. Metcalf, Sedalia ESGR volunteer, Keith Crumley, and Waynesville Missouri Mayor Lude Hardin.

 

Young Naval and Air Force cadets presented the colors at the ESGR Awards Dinner.
Young Naval and Air Force cadets presented the colors at the ESGR Awards Dinner.

 

Two WWII veterans, Jim Shipley and Robert Lumpkin at the ESGR Awards Dinner
Two WWII veterans, Jim Shipley and Robert Lumpkin at the ESGR Awards Dinner

 

Department of Defense’s MO ESGR Program’s Above and Beyond Award
Department of Defense’s MO ESGR Program’s Above and Beyond Award

 

Veterans Home Care’s Howard and Bonnie Laiderman visit with Lee J. Metcalfe, vice president at Daugherty Business Solutions and retired USN rear admiral.
Veterans Home Care’s Howard and Bonnie Laiderman visit with Lee J. Metcalfe, vice president at Daugherty Business Solutions and retired USN rear admiral.

 

Veterans Home Care’s Howard and Bonnie Laiderman visit with ESGR Military Outreach Coordinator Jeanne Savel.
Veterans Home Care’s Howard and Bonnie Laiderman visit with ESGR Military Outreach Coordinator Jeanne Savel.