LOUISVILLE, KY -- Scores of trucking company representatives joined counterparts from associations and service providers in affirming their backing of the reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces by signing a pledge at a meeting during the Mid-America Trucking Show last week.
It was the largest “statement of support” signing in the history of the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program, according to Tom Bullock, the group’s chief of employer outreach. Speakers included the acting secretary of the Army and other Washington and Kentucky brass.
Fifty-three percent of the U.S. Army’s 1 million-person strength is in its National Guard and Reserve units, said its acting secretary, Patrick Murphy, a former congressman from Pennsylvania and an ex-Army officer who served two tours in Iraq.
“When the president of the United States calls 9-1-1, he calls the Army,” Murphy declared. He recalled that part of his officer training in the 1990s was at nearby Fort Knox, Ky.
Kentucky’s ESGR chairman, Major General (Retired) Allen Youngman, said, “Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 16,000 Kentucky Guard and Reserve members have left their families and employers to serve in overseas contingency operations.