GOSHEN — Two Goshen companies and a township fire department are in the running to receive the next Freedom Award from the U.S. Department of Defense, with the announcement coming just weeks after another Elkhart County employer won the prestigious award.
Hertzler Systems, Lippert Components and the Jefferson Township Fire Department and EMS were among the 70 businesses in Indiana nominated by their employees who serve in the National Guard or military reserve units, or family members of those serving. There were 47 businesses nominated in Michigan.
The award comes through the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves committee of the Defense Department. The award is the Defense Department’s highest recognition for employers supporting their guard and reservist employees.
With 2,899 nationwide nominations, up to 15 recipients will be announced this summer and honored in Washington, D.C.
The announcements were made the evening of Tuesday, March 19, two weeks after Bull Moose Tube received the award.
Nearly half of he U.S. military is composed of Guard and reserve members, according to the ESGR announcement of the latest award nominations.
“Every year, these nominations demonstrate the strength of our employers’ commitment to supporting our guardsmen and reservists,” said ESGR National Chair James G. Rebholz. “We applaud all the National Guard and reserve service members who took the time to tell the DoD why their employers are exceptional, and we are grateful to the 2013 nominees for providing our citizen warriors with the assistance and encouragement they rely on while answering the call to duty.”
Freedom Award recipients like Bull Moose are recognized for going to extraordinary lengths for their employees to serve. Navy Reserve Master Chief Bruce Kitts nominated Bull Moose, lauding them for the efforts they make to fill in for him during his frequent deployments. Kitts said he’s never once received any negativity from the company, despite the hoops through which they have to jump to fill in for him.
At the ceremony honoring Bull Moose, ESGR representative David Shearer said, “it takes cooperation on both sides to make it work. Employers give an awful lot.”