HARRISBURG, PA, JULY 8, 2014 – Affilia Home Health’s Nina DelGrande was awarded a Patriot Award in recognition of her support of an employee’s military service. Col. Jim Astor, United States Air Force (retired), presented the award on behalf of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a program of the US Department of Defense.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Horst of Wormleysville, who works as an office support associate in Affilia Home Health’s Intake Department, nominated DelGrande for allowing the National Guardsman to leave early or take days off before or after training weekends and deployments. Horst spent a two-week deployment at Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center in July.
“From the very first day, Nina has been accepting of my military service,” said Horst, who has worked for Affilia Home Health for about one year. “She understands that military duty is a priority in my life and is very supportive.” Serving in the military for 23 years, Horst has been deployed to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Bosnia.
“I am so grateful to young men and women like Jennifer who step up and serve in the National Guard and Reserves,” said DelGrande of Camp Hill, Director of Affilia’s Harrisburg Office. “Allowing them to flex their schedules so they can meet their commitments is a small price to pay for the protection they provide all of us.”
Astor, an ESGR volunteer, said the Patriot Award recognizes the employers’ efforts to support “Citizen Warriors” through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed. ESGR strives to inform employers of the requirements of the Uniformed ServicesEmployment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), a federal law that establishes rights and responsibilities for uniformed service members and their civilian employers.
The law is intended to encourage uniformed service so that the United States can enjoy the protection of those services, staffed by qualified people, while maintaining a balance with the needs of private and public employers who also depend on these same individuals.
“The Patriot Award recognizes employers who go above and beyond the requirements of the law,” Astor said. “The PA Committee for ESGR truly appreciates the outstanding support shown for our service members. Without that support from their personal families, and the work families, too, our servicemen and women would not be able to do the great jobs that they do serving our country.”