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Salem, OR—SALEM, Ore. - President Biden recently released a statement proclaiming August 15 through August 21, 2021, as National Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week, recognizing the essential support civilian employers provide to our Nation’s safety and security.

Since early 2020, the Oregon National Guard has deployed and welcomed home Guard members from the second largest overseas mobilization of Oregon troops since World War II. In addition to their overseas deployments and peacekeeping operations, they have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, supported flood and wildfires response, distributed personal protective equipment, supported employment and vaccine call centers, augmented riot response in our State and Nation’s Capitols, and provided patient support in Oregon’s State Hospital. All the while training our Nation’s F-15 Eagle pilots, providing for the air defense of the Northwest United States and sustaining military readiness. Like their Minuteman ancestors, they have put down their plowshares and answered the call to serve.

Even now, Oregon has hundreds of our Service Members deployed oversees, supporting Southwest border operations here at home, battling wildfires with the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon State Fire Marshal, and supporting Oregon hospitals. As our healthcare providers continue to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, we are in the middle of mobilizing more than 1,500 Soldiers and Airmen for hospital support alone.

Beyond the gratitude to our National Guard members and their families, we owe an extreme debt of gratitude to their civilian employers. The National Guard militia construct and the idea of the Citizen-Soldier and Citizen-Airmen comes at a great cost, not just to our Service Members and their families, but to their employers as well. While we work hard to provide predictability in scheduling training and deployments to minimize the impact on employers, pandemics, floods, fires, and riots seldom afford that opportunity, creating challenges for all who support us. Our National Guard men and women could not respond without the incredible patriotism and support they receive from their civilian employers.

I encourage all Oregonians to join me in thanking the employers of Oregon National Guardsmen across the State of Oregon and Southwest Washington for their unwavering commitment and support of Service Members who have chosen to serve their state and country. Not just for the highly visible missions over the last few years, but day in and day out, across their careers. Your support comes at a great cost, but they could not answer the call of our State and Nation without your support.

Thank you!

Maj. Gen. Mike Stencel, The Adjutant General, Oregon



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Photo: Michael E. Stencel is the Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard, and he commands over 8,100 soldiers and airmen.

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