Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of representing Townsquare Media in an educational event that was raising awareness on hiring National Guard members. The ESGR [Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve] Boss Lift took us up to Camp Ripley near Little Falls and gave many of us a glimpse of what our local heroes do on their weekend's training. 

The morning started off when about 50 representatives from various companies in the Faribault/Owatonna area meeting at the Degner Airport in Owatonna. We all got briefed on ESGR and the Top-10 reasons on why we'd want to hire a National Guard member or Reservist. Then it was off to Camp Ripley via two Chinook's.

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The trip to Camp Ripley by car is usually about 3 hours, these giant people haulers got us up there in about 55 minutes as they travel at 120 knots or for those of us who just went huh 138 mph. After we landed the ESGR crew went over the rich history of the 2nd Battalion 135th Infantry. Their history goes all the way back to the Civil War!

We ate some lunch then headed out to a training range where MP's were working on being certified in different firearms. After the training session we went off to check out the Minnesota Military Museum on site where they have a TON of vehicles, helicopters, tanks, and various other pieces of history from not only Camp Ripley but all things Minnesota when it comes to serving in various wars and conflicts.

Camp Ripley

In reality though, yes riding in a Chinook and taking in the sites at Camp Ripley was fun and educational, but it was all really about Minnesotans who are in the National Guard or are Reservists who sometimes struggle with finding work after they are out of the Guard or hold a job because they are a Reservist. One veteran who spoke told us it took her 3 years to land a job after moving to Minnesota!

There are many reasons why hiring a veteran or active duty reservist makes sense to your company. You can head to the ESGR website for a list of resources on what your company can do to make it easier to hire National Guard members or Reservists here.