PORTLAND, ORE. --
The 142nd Fighter Wing, along with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), hosted an annual open house known as Employer Appreciation Day (EAD) at Portland Air National Guard (PANG) Base, Oregon, on August 22, 2019.
The event, open to civilian employers of traditional PANG Base Guardsmen, offered attendees the opportunity to witness firsthand the impact each guardsman has on the mission of the base, the Oregon Air National Guard, and the U.S. Air Force as a whole. Employers learned about various career fields, handled equipment, and flew in the Washington ANG’s 141st Airlift Wing KC-135 Stratotanker where they were invited to view the in-flight refueling of an F-15 Eagle.
Senior Master Sgt. Amy Almond-Schmid, the 142nd Fighter Wing Human Resource Advisor, oversaw the organization and coordination EAD for the Airman and Family Programs Office. Almond-Schmid emphasized the uniqueness and importance of events such as this.
“The open house, the sensory overload, the look, see, touch, hear, and FLY, the handshaking with Airmen showcasing their [career field] specific prowess, the selfies on our equipment, our skills and abilities on stage…all this bolsters relationships and understanding, ultimately building compassion and respect for both Guard members and the employers who support them,” said Almond-Schmid.
It’s essential that civilian employers are aware of the demands set on members of the U.S. Military Guard and Reserve components because traditional Reservists and Guardsmen rely on the understanding and cooperation of their employers outside of the military.
EAD aims to put the base and its mission on display so employers can gain an understanding of what we do. In addition to this, and most importantly, the event shows employers how imperative and appreciated their support is and what it allows the wing and its members to accomplish.