Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune today congratulated the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department in Pierre for being awarded the 2006 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, which is given to 15 employers nationwide who have gone above and beyond in supporting their employees who voluntarily serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

"With only 15 employers selected nationwide, it is wonderful news for our state that the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department has been recognized with the prestigious Freedom Award for its outstanding support for the National Guard members and Reservists it employs," Thune said. "During this time of war, the men and women who volunteer their time to serve in the National Guard and Reserve are making great sacrifices for the security of our nation. But in order for them to carry out these important duties, they rely on the support and commitment of their full-time employers.

"The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department has set a fine example for employers across the nation in supporting its National Guard and Reserve employees. Behind the scenes, this department is going the extra mile to accommodate our men and women in uniform and thus ensure a safer, more secure America."

The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve will present the Freedom Awards at a ceremony on September 21 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

Secretary of Defense William Perry instituted this award in 1996. It publicly recognizes employers, who were nominated by their employees voluntarily serving in the National Guard and Reserve, for exceptional support above the requirements of federal law. This award is the highest in a series of Department of Defense employer awards that include the Patriot Award, the ESGR Above and Beyond Award and the Pro Patria Award.