March 2011

Welcome to Colorado ESGR. Our purpose is to have an informative newsletter that will educate, inform, and promote service by and to ESGR while fulfilling our mission of supporting Employers, Guard/Reserve members, and COESGR Volunteers.

Inside this Issue “Fandies Candies” .................... 1 Announcements ........................ 2 Giving Prior Notice .................. 4 Spouse Patriot Award .............. 6 About Military Outreach ......... 7 Colorado ESGR Contacts……..7 Calendar of Events, Links ....... 8

"WE THANK ALL OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO GIVE OF THEMSELVES
DAILY TO PROTECT OUR GREAT COUNTRY." -Debi Moore

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In a small town just 40 miles West of Pueblo, in a small community called Canon City, therein lays a "Giant" in the arena of supporting our active duty troops. People drive by this little "Home of a Hero" everyday and no one notices. This miracle place is called "Fandies Candies" and inside is a charming young lady, 5'7" in stature, but is 10 feet tall with our service members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who is this miracle worker? Well, her name is Debi Moore and she has been sending boxes of homemade candies to our troops overseas for the past four years. On a special wall inside of her candy factory, appropriately named as "Wall of Hero's" are thank you letters and pictures of servicemen and women from all over the world detailing how much a simple small

favor can brighten their day. Only those who have been there know that words cannot express how much this little taste of home is appreciated. After reading these "Thank You" letters from our service men and women, tears will come to your eyes and you are afraid to turn around as if someone is watching you. Debi's inspiration comes from her Dad, a Korean War veteran, and her cousin, a third tour veteran in Af ghanistan. Debi's candies range from nostalgic, bulk, and famous homemade fudges. The theme for this project is called "Treats for our Troops Program" which is an annual affair every C h r i s t m a s .
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Growing circulation—This Newsletter reaches more than 5300 National Guardsmen and 997 employers from our supporters list, volunteers of Colorado ESGR, and our social network websites like Facebook. 1

March 2011 Announcements Electronic Requests for DD 214 Documents
Veterans can now request a copy of their DD214 electronically through the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). The process takes between 10 and 14 business days. Veterans can also request their military records electronically! Log on at: http://www.archives.gov/ veterans/military-service-records/ Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now use this on-line military personnel records system to request documents. Other individuals must use the standard form 180, which can be downloaded from the website. For more information about requesting military or VA records call 1.314.801.0800

Upcoming events are coming up that should touch many troops.
On Saturday, 16 Apr - the Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) located at 6760 E Irvington Place in Denver (the old DFAS site at Lowry) is conducting a Muster with the Army and they expect well over 300 attendees. Military Outreach will be manning a booth to provide materials and address any questions. On Saturday and Sunday, 16 & 17 Apr - the 88th ARMY Reserve Support Command (RSC) is holding the last of 3 conferences in Denver for this FY. Previous conferences have been attended by the hundreds and the expectation is the same for this event. It is being held at the Hyatt Downtown across from the Convention Center. Military Outreach will have volunteers man a booth and conduct two briefings during this event.

DOD to Measure Guard and Reserve Employment Practices
In a March 2, 2011 press release, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced it will survey employers nationwide in March and April to gain insight into the benefits and challenges of employing members of the Guard and Reserve. The DoD National Survey of Employers is the department's largest study of its kind since the United States entered sustained military operations nearly 10 years ago in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. "Guard and Reserve members often return from military service as more valuable employees, but their extended absences can sometimes burden their civilian employers," said Dennis McCarthy, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs. "Our goal for this survey is to
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identify best practices in supporting employers of Guard and Reserve members and evaluate the effectiveness of Department of Defense employer support programs." Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a DoD agency, will send the survey to 8 0, 0 00 em p l o yer s t h is week. The employers who have all been randomly selected will receive a letter with instructions and have eight weeks to complete the survey. More information on the survey can be found at http://www.esgr.org/site/employersurvey.aspx

March 2011
Deadline for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay Applications Extended The deadline for eligible service members, veterans and their beneficiaries to apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay (RSLSP) has been extended to March 18, 2011, allowing personnel more time to apply for the benefits they've earned under the program guidelines. The deadline extension is included in the continuing resolution signed by President Obama yesterday, providing funding for federal government operations through March 18, 2011. The RSLSP was established to compensate for the hardships military members encountered when their service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss Authority between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009. Eligible members or their beneficiaries may submit a claim to their respective military service in order to receive the benefit of $500 for each full or partial month served in a Stop Loss status. When RSLSP began on Oct. 21, 2009, the services estimated 145,000 service members, veterans and beneficiaries were eligible for this benefit. Because the majority of those eligible had separated from the military, the services have engaged in extensive and persistent outreach efforts over the past 14 months. Outreach efforts including direct mail, engaging military and veteran service organizations, social networks and media outlets, will continue through March 18, 2011. To apply for more information, or to gather more information on RSLSP, including submission requirements and service-specific links, go to http://www.defense.gov/stoploss .

National Guard Advisory concerning a group called the Veterans Affairs Services Our Veterans are a highly regarded and respected part of the Chamber Community so we wanted to let you know about this item that came in via Greg Echols, Chair of Aurora’s Veterans Affairs Commission and active member of our Defense Council. He passed the following along: The VA Office of Security and Law Enforcement (OS&LE) bulletin contains an advisory from the National Guard concerning a group calling itself "Veterans Affairs Services." This entity, whose name and seal are similar to VA's, is said to be gathering personal information on Veterans. VA's OS&LE has requested dissemination of this advisory to make it clear that this group has no affiliation with VA and to prevent unwitting release of Personally Identifiable Information. The more you know about the threats that are out there the more you can protect yourself and your families. Click here for a link to the advisory (pdf)

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March 2011 Uniformed Services and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
The mission of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is to ―…develop and promote employer support for Guard and Reserve service by advocating relevant initiatives, recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of applicable laws, and resolving conflict between employers and service members.‖ With the mission of educating employers and service members in the forefront as our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen continue to deploy, each month the newsletter will explore a different aspect of the Uniformed Services and Reemployment Rights Act.

Giving Prior Notice – Preserving Reemployment Rights
by Jan Dolan, Ombudsman, Colorado ESGR

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, in 38 U.S.C section 4312, states a service member must give oral or written notice of future military service to their civilian employer. Written notice is preferred. Service members should keep copies of all communication with the employer regarding military service. Notice may be given by the person who is going to military service, or by "an appropriate officer," who is a commissioned, warrant or non-commissioned officer authorized to give notice by the military service. This action is one step in preserving reemployment rights. There is no required period of time attached to prior notice. Giving notice as far in advance as possible shows respect and consideration for the employer, coworkers and any staffing needs arising while the employee is away. The Department of Defense "strongly recommends" at least 30 days prior notice be given. Also consider providing employers an advance schedule of drill weekends and annual tour of duty; while not required, it again shows consideration for the employer. The only time advance notice is not required is when "precluded by military necessity" or "otherwise impossible or unreasonable." These instances are very rare, and communicated to the service member. This determination is made by the military services, or the secretary of homeland security in consultation with the secretary of defense.

The employee is not required to get permission from the employer to fulfill a military obligation and they do not have to tell the employer if they intend to return to the same civilian employer. Also, if the employee informs their employer that they do not intend to return, prior to completing their military service, they do not give up their right to reemployment under USERRA. Reemployment rights vest when a service member completes the tour of duty. Reemployment rights and "prior notice" apply to voluntary and involuntary service. Employers sometimes struggle with the necessity for voluntary service. However, it is the backbone of a system that enables the National Guard and Reserve to meet the requirements of their military obligations. It is the policy of the Reserve Components to reduce the burden on civilian employers by giving them as much advance notice as possible. Communication is the cornerstone to building trust and support, so that employees may count on their employer to help them fulfill both military and civilian obligations. Communication can reduce the impact of absences, and minimize stress on the employer, co-workers and employees who are current military members. Our country is best served when employer and employee are working together to support the mission of the National Guard and Reserve.

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March 2011
There is some community support but no one knows for sure just how much it costs to send over 165 boxes of candies at a cost of $18 per box because the list grows every year and she never complains. Donations are always welcome but this "Guardian Angel of our defenders of freedom" does all this from her heart. Because of this, Debi Moore was presented a ―Statement of Support" Award from Employers Supporting the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) of Colorado. The award was presented by ESGR Employee Outreach representative of Fremont County and Upper Arkansas River Valley, Everette Breckenridge. The Statement acknowledges that Debi, Aka Fandies Candies, continually recognizes and supports our service members on active duty in peace, in crises, and in war. - Written by Everette Breckenridge, Colorado ESGR Volunteer. Fandies Candy Company has been sending troops candy for four years now through the "Treats for Troops" program. That's years of tasty treats and plenty of smiles. "We have a wall. I call it my wall of heroes," says Moore. "It's great to hear from them and to just know that it's impacting them and that it is just giving them a little sweet taste of home." The name "FANDIES CANDY COMPANY" was created while trying to come up with a name that would look old fashioned but also represent "FUN CANDY", thus the discovery of the name... Fun Candy = Fandy! The point of owning a business should never just be about how the community can serve the business, but also about how the business can serve its community. Through fund-raisers and projects like our "Treats for our Troops", Fandies is proactive in seeing this concept come to life. Thank you to those who have shown great support!! The ESGR Statement of Support Program seeks to inform and educate employers about their rights and responsibilities towards their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve, and to also recognize and reward those employers who go ―over and above‖ the requirements of the law. Every time an employer signs a Statement of Support (SoS) or is presented with a Patriot Award (PA), ESGR volunteers recognize outstanding support by employers. With each hour volunteered, an ESGR team member raises awareness of the law for the Guard and Reserve members and their employers, strengthens employer-employee relationships, and helps resolve conflict. – Excerpt from 2010 ESGR Annual Report.
To download the ESGR 2010 Annual Report, click on the link (pictured)

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ESGR Spouse Patriot Award Nomination Talking Points
Expansion of the Patriot Award Program
The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award program recognizing supportive employers was originally only open to Guard and Reserve members, it is also open to members’ spouses. The Department of Defense wants to showcase employers of Guard and Reserve members’ families that provide unique support to their employees because of the challenges it can present their business. Often childcare, managing the household, work schedules need to be adjusted when a Guard or Reserve member leaves the country. This program recognizes the supportive employers of Guard and Reserve members’ spouses, who often face unique challenges when their employee’s spouse is deployed. Guard and Reserve service members have job protections under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994 – Federal Law. There are basic responsibilities and actions employers must take with regards to the service member’s job. Spouses’ employers have no obligation under the law and yet many employers are providing exceptional support. The support of this unique group of employers’ is critical to our national defense. Families: The families of the Guard and Reserve serve our Nation by proudly standing behind these brave men and women, and America appreciates their sacrifice as well.

Patriot Award Spouse Nominator Form http://www.esgr.org/newforms.asp? p=patriot_spouse Patriot Award Service Member Nominator Form http://www.esgr.org/newforms.asp?p=patriot

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STAFF AND CONTACT INFORMATION
Pat O’Flaherty – Staff Director patrick.oflaherty2@us.army.mil 720.250.1176 Kathleen Dorram – Program Support Manager Kathleen.dorram@us.army.mil 720.250.1195 FAX: 720.250.1199 Chandra Hance – Program Support Specialist chandra.hance@us.army.mil 720.250.1189 FAX: 720.250.1199

About Colorado ESGR
(In this section is a brief summary of the responsibilities of the different directories within Colorado ESGR)

Military Outreach Directorate
The Military Outreach Directorate focuses on informing service members of their rights and responsibilities under USERRA. Reserve Component service members learn about ESGR during Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP) events, joint service member and employer events, and briefings to service members at their units during pre-mobilization and demobilization, all of which provide an effective means of educating service members about the law.

COESGR Business Office 12200 East Briarwood Avenue, Suite 160 Centennial, Co 80112 ESGR National Office 1555 Wilson Blvd., Suite 200 Arlington, VA 22209 1-800-336-4590 www.ESGR.com
State ESGR Chair Richard E. Young, RADM, USN (Ret) dickyoung123@gmail.com State ESGR Vice Chair Tom Mills, Brigadier General, CONG (Ret). meels52@msn.com

Military Outreach Objectives: Inform service members about USERRA and ESGR. Encourage recognition of supportive employers through Patriot Award nominations. Build relationships with local Reserve Component (RC) leaders. Military Outreach Primary Functions : Identify Reserve Component Units  Understand the RC units mission purpose/organization  Retrieve unit data (subordinate units, strength, leaders, etc.)  Build a unit file  Serve as ESGR Liaison for unit members Make Contact  Meet with the leadership Provide Assistance  Promote Unit Employer Outreach Follow-Up

COLORADO ESGR DIRECTORS
Military Outreach Mark Craig mcraig8080@mac.com Joe Ely elytj@aol.com Employer Outreach Tom Ivory Tivory@aol.com Jack Beattie beattiejd@gmail.com Ombudsmen Bill Belz ewbii@msn.com Training Lynn Albi lynnalbi@aol.com Special Programs Kip Cheroutes kcheroutes@ Emgacommunications.com Speakers Bureau Martin Cobb emarcobb@msn.com Public Affairs Iris Fontera IFontera@aol.com

EMPLOYER OUTREACH AREA CHAIRS
Colorado Springs

Larry Lynch
toparmy1@yahoo.com Douglas County Area Lorin Ricker dixie@rickernet.us Fort Collins Robert Fryer robert.fryer@ocio.usda.gov Grand Junction Lou Brackett patriot08@bresnan.net Pueblo Harry Vogel hotspot58@cs.com

MILITARY OUTREACH AREA CHAIR
Colorado Springs Vacant

NEWSLETTER EDITORS
James Garrett esgrcolorado@yahoo.com Carolyn Gunther carolyn.gunther@comcast.net

Colorado’s ESGR Electronic Newsletter is published not only for the information and benefit of the members of the Colorado ESGR but most importantly to our Guard and Reserve members and their employers. The contents of this newsletter highlight activities and events conducted by Colorado ESGR. Send comments regarding this publication to the Newsletter Editor: James Garrett at esgrcolorado@yahoo.com 7

EVENTS CALENDAR
MARCH HQ ESGR Advanced Ombudsman Course, New Orleans, LA 7-9 302nd Airlift Wing Enlisted Development Workshop, Peterson AFB 12 ESGR Initial Basic Training for Volunteers, Lone Tree, CO 10-13 HQ ESGR Emerging Leader Training, San Antonio, TX 28-31 HQ ESGR West Region Conf. Las Vegas, NM 30-31 Bosslift, Keesler AFB. Biloxi, MS 3-6 APRIL 1 Bosslift, Keesler AFB. Biloxi, MS 14 Western Slope Employers Luncheon 16-17 88 RSC Yellow Ribbon, Denver Hyatt Regency MAY 12-15 HQ ESGR Advanced Ombudsman Course, Chicago, IL 21 COESGR Volunteer Conference 23-25 Military Veterans Employment Initiative, Jefferson County Fairgrounds (Tentative) JUNE 11 Employer Awards Banquet JULY 21-24 Basic Ombudsman Training Course, Seattle, WA

Your Job Is Protected cards

Service members— Make sure you
obtain a ―Your Job Is Protected ―wallet information card from a Colorado ESGR Military Outreach Volunteer.

Click On These Important USERRA Links Tips for Employers- http://www.esgr.org/site/Resources/TipsforEmployers.aspx Employer Resource Guide— http://www.esgr.org/site/Resources/EmployerResourceGuide.aspx Employer FAQ - http://www.esgr.org/site/Resources/FAQforEmployers.aspx Employer Factsheet - http://www.esgr.org/site/Resources/EmployerFactsheet.aspx USERRA Training 101 - http://www.nvti.ucdenver.edu/Userra101/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=/ userra101/default.aspx USERRA Training 102 - http://www.nvti.ucdenver.edu/Userra102/login.aspx? USERRA Assistance Request Online - http://www.esgr.org/site/Contact/ CustomerServiceCenter.aspx Other Useful links available on USERRA site - http://www.esgr.org/site/USERRA.aspx DOL/VETS - http://www.dol.gov/vets/
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