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Aug 24, 2017

The Episcopal Diocese of Texas receives national recognition for support of their military employees

Diocese one of 148 organizations named by US Defense Department’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for Freedom Award

This past week, 15 employers from across the nation were honored with the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. This award is the highest honor given to employers from the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a US Department of Defense program.


Although not chosen as one of the 15 recipients of the award who were presented with their award at a Pentagon ceremony August 25, the Diocese was one of 148 finalists out of 3,064 nominations from across the country this year. Nominations must come from a Guard or Reserve member who is employed by the organization they are nominating, or from a family member.

“We’re proud to have received this recognition,” said the Rev. Canon John Newton, who attended a local presentation with the Rev. David Peters, “The men and women who serve our country, including those that work for the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Texas, often do so in addition to their regular ministry. Any support we can provide them in during their time of service is a commitment we have been happy to make. “

Peters, an Army Reserve chaplain who teaches part-time at the US Army Chaplain School at Ft. Jackson, SC, is the full-time associate rector at St. Mark’s, Austin and guides ministries to veterans with PTSD and moral injury from war. “I'm thankful for how my parish and Diocese has sent me out to do missional ministry as a chaplain to the US Army. I have the opportunity to provide spiritual guidance and pastoral care to young and diverse military families as well mentor the next generation of Army chaplains at the Chaplain School.” 

Almost one-half of the U.S. military is comprised of the Guard and Reserve. The Department of Defense shares these citizen warriors with their civilian employers, many of whom provide significant support to their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. The Freedom Award process recognizes those employers who provide the most outstanding support for their Guard and Reserve employees. 

ESGR, a Department of Defense program, was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment.