Civilians never see military reservists in action during combat. More often, military reservists are at the frontline of disaster relief, helping the civilian population recover. That much were evident in the aftermath of the Super Typhoon Yutu disaster that hit the CNMI last October.
“These folks were out there in the hot heat, helping this community recover at the most difficult time, at the most very trying situations,” said Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios.
This tremendous help that the U.S. military plays in disaster response and relief was the focus of yesterday’s ceremony, with Palacios signing a proclamation that declares the week of Aug. 19 to 23 as Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves Week. Palacios said the occasion serves to remind the community to remember “our first-hand experience with what these fine men and women can do for this nation and for our community.”
Palacios also extended his appreciation to all employers for supporting their employees who are also reservists.
One such reservist during yesterday’s proclamation signing was SPC Casey Obaldo, who attests how ESGR has helped her. “I work in the private sector and, with ESGR, I could go to annual trainings without hesitations [because] when I come back, I still have my job,” Obaldo said.
CNMI ESGR chair Donald Clark also recognized the employers’ willingness to make sacrifices and understand the importance of the role the Guards and Reserves play in the defense of the nation. Clark said with the natural disasters that come around, employers see first-hand what the reservists do in support of the island.
Clark also asked the reservists to inform ESGR if their employers do not understand their role. He assured them that ESGR would meet with the employers to help them be supportive and understanding of what the reservists do.
ESGR is the agency of the U.S. Department of Defense that supports National Guard and Reserve members with civilian jobs in addition to their military duties and their employers. The Guam Guard and Reserve/CNMI Reserve has the highest membership per capita anywhere in the United States.