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Dr. Jill Biden to Deliver Keynote Address at 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony

The Department of Defense has announced that Dr. Jill Biden will be the keynote speaker at the annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on September 17, 2009.

Fifteen employers from across the nation will receive the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the U.S. Government's highest honor given to employers for their outstanding support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

“Members of our National Guard and Reserves and their families depend on their employers for support,” said Dr. Biden. “I'm pleased to celebrate those employers who have done an outstanding job of supporting our troops as they answer the call of duty and service to our nation.”

A Blue Star Mom and wife of Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Biden has made military families one of her top priorities and has traveled to military bases in both the United States and Germany to speak with soldiers and their families and express appreciation for their sacrifices. In Delaware, she was active with the nonprofit organization “Boots on the Ground,” dedicated to helping families during times of military deployment by organizing community events to raise awareness and support.

Dr. Biden will join Dennis McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, in honoring award recipients at the Freedom Award Ceremony for the support they provide to National Guard and Reserve employees and their families.

“It is truly a special honor to have Dr. Biden as this year's keynote speaker,” said McCarthy, “Her participation is a testament to the sacrifices made by not only the National Guard and Reserve employees, but to those made by these 15 outstanding employers as well as countless others who steadfastly support our Reserve service members.”

The 2009 recipients are:

  • Aerodyne Wind Tunnel LLC – Mooresville, N.C.
  • AstraZeneca International – Wilmington, Del.
  • Cambridge, MA Fire Department – Cambridge, Mass.
  • Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc. – North Charleston, S.C.
  • First Data Corporation – Greenwood Village, Colo.
  • FMC Technologies – Houston, Texas
  • Jackson Parish Sheriff's Department – Jonesboro, La.
  • Marks, O'Neill, O'Brien & Courtney, P.C. – Wilmington, Del.
  • Microsoft Corporation – Redmond, Wash.
  • Mid America Kidney Stone Association – Kansas City, Mo.
  • Net Jets – Woodbridge, N.J.
  • Ohio Department of Public Safety – Columbus, Ohio
  • Perpetual Technologies, Inc. – Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Santa Ana Police Department – Santa Ana, Calif.
  • TriWest Healthcare Alliance – Phoenix, Ariz.

A record 3,200 National Guard and Reserve members or their family members from across the country nominated their supportive employers for the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. A national selection board comprised of senior Defense officials and business leaders selected the recipients for this year's award.

The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to recognize exceptional support from the employer community.

Ms. Pauline Brunelli, acting Executive Director of NCESGR echoed Sec McCarthy's sentiments about Dr. Biden's upcoming appearance, adding, “Dr. Biden's presence helps underscore the importance of the role both employers and our National Guard and Reserve play as they all serve our nation.”

More information about the Freedom Award is available at www.FreedomAward.mil or by calling the ESGR office at (800) 336-4590

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