Yesterday I have the privilege of riding along with the crew of the United States Coast Guard ship Hollyhock, as they cut ice through the Straights of Mackinac. The ride along was organized by ESGR, which stands for “Employer support of the Guard and Reserve.” Their mission is to educate employers, and the general public, how important supporting Guard and Reserve members really is. In the briefing at Coast Guard station St. Ignace before we departed, we heard an amazing stat. 38% of the United States Military is made up of members of the Guard and Reserve! Obviously Northern Michigan has a strong history with the Coast Guard specifically, with stations in St. Ignace, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, and the Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City.
The crew of the Hollyhock could not have been more accomodating, and I also want to thank the staff at Coast Guard station St. Ignace for their hospitality as well both before, and after the outing. During the briefing there was another line that stuck out to me. The speaker said “people always say they support the troops, but what are you REALLY doing to support them?” One way, if you’re an employer, is to assist in any way that you can any employees you have in your company that volunteer their time to protect our Nation in the Guard and Reserves.