VaANG thanks civilian employers at Boss Lift event

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Bryan Myhr
  • 192nd Wing Public Affairs

The Virginia Air National Guard hosted a Boss Lift event on June 4, 2022, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Airmen nominated supervisors from 14 civilian employers for exceptional support of their Virginia Air National Guard careers.

“We want to provide you with an experience that few people outside of the military get to see,” said Tim Bowden, 192nd Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program manager. “This is our way of saying thank you for the opportunities you have provided our wing members and making the journey here today.”

The employers flew in an Ohio Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker and witnessed aerial refueling of F-22 Raptors.

“I completely understand and appreciate the level of effort that goes into letting our service members serve and then return to the civilian workforce,” said Col. Christopher G. Batterton, 192nd Wing commander. “I know what a burden that is- backfilling, taking care of them and benefits. A lot goes into that, and we’re very appreciative.”

Employers recognized at the event ranged from local small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

“My supervisor volunteers to help with transitioning military members coming out of the service through a program that Microsoft has called ‘Hiring our Heroes’,” said Maj. Tony D’Amato, Cyber Intelligence Engagement officer, Virginia National Guard Joint Force Headquarters.

“It is a win-win. We get great talent, they get the next step in their career,” said Eric Meister, services practice leader at Microsoft. “Whatever we can do to help our folks step away when they need to, we’ll cover down. It is never an issue.”

Several organizations provided support for the 2022 VaANG Boss Lift event including the 633rd Air Base Wing, the 1st Fighter Wing, the Ohio Air National Guard, and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

At a luncheon following the flight, the ESGR recognized and presented award certificates to the employers. The 14 employers included Shana Dymek, R&K Enterprise; James Glenn, Defense Logistics Agency-Aviation; Susan Greer, Riverside Shore Memorial; Eric Meister, Microsoft; David Minor, Squan Construction Solutions; Christina Swando, Hampton Veteran Affairs Medical Center; Shawn O'Shea, Lululemon; John Jeffries, Dominion Energy; Eric Yost, Customs by Bigun; Savannah Surls, MacAir Aviation; Dr. David Taylor, Hampton University; Bryan Burmaster, Estes Express Lines; James Shaffer, CMBT Systems Branch Norfolk Naval Shipyard; and Roberto Friedman, Sentara Home Health.

ESGR is a U.S. Department of Defense program promoting cooperation and understanding between civilian employers and their National Guard and Reserve employees. Established in 1972, ESGR operates within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.