Guardsman Credits Employer for Looking After His Family

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2006 - National Guardsman Scott J. Moser said he and his fellow combat engineers routinely risked their lives while they searched for unexploded roadside bombs in Iraq.

However, Moser didn't worry too much about how his family was faring back home, he said, thanks to AgCountry Farm Credit Service, his civilian employer in Fargo, N.D.

"The company helped me out," Moser, a 38-year-old father of three, said in a recent interview with American Forces Press Service.

Moser was a sergeant in the North Dakota Army National Guard when he deployed in February 2004 for a 13-month tour of duty in Tikrit, Iraq. The noncommissioned officer said his company's senior managers had asked what they could do for him before he left for Iraq.

AgCountry "gave me as much time as I wanted before I got deployed to be home with my family to get things in order," Moser said.

During Moser's deployment his company provided the difference between his military pay and his normal civilian pay. Moser said company officials also assisted his wife in resolving pay and medical issues while he was overseas.

"Financially, my family didn't have to be concerned about any change in cash flow or anything like that while I was gone," Moser said.

Asked if his company's assistance had helped to free his mind of financial worries while he was in Iraq. Moser's one-word answer was, "Definitely."

AgCountry Farm Credit Service, a business that provides loans to farmers and ranchers, is one of 15 U.S. businesses chosen to receive the 2006 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. Moser nominated his company for the award.

The company's chief executive, Eugene Smestad, is slated to accept the DoD award at a Sept. 21 ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recognizes U.S. employers that rise above the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a DoD agency, manages the award process.

ESGR helps Guard and reserve members and their employers understand employee eligibility and job entitlements, employer obligations, benefits and remedies under the act.

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