Ocala, FL—Charlie Chappel, owner of Ocala Heating and Air Conditioning was recently honored with an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award. The award was presented for Chappel’s extraordinary support for his employees, Florida Army National Guard (FL ANG) Spec. Mike Atchley and Marine Corps Reserve Lance Cpl. Jeremy White.

“The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have answered their nations call to serve,” said ESGR Florida State Chair Rita Broadway. “Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units, Broadway continued.

“National Guard and Reserve members are bringing tremendous skills and capabilities to our workforce, and employer support for their military service is critical to maintaining the strength of our Guard and Reserve units,” said Tim Lambert, ESGR Florida Vice Chair. “By valuing the military service of their Guard and Reserve employees, employers are directly supporting the retention of our All-Volunteer Force, and our National Defense,” Lambert continued.

“Mr. Chappel has given me great support in meeting my military obligations. I was called on very short notice to report on State Active Duty because of Hurricane Ian. He continued to check on me and my family throughout my entire absence from work telling me not to worry about my job or family,” said Atchley. “When money got tight for bills, he made sure I received pay from the Company to get me through until I received my military pay. Without his support, I would never be able to continue my military obligation to our State and Nation without great financial and emotional suffering for my family,” Atchley continued.

“Running a business is challenging for a small business owner, I know that it must be tough to have two employees away from work because of military duty. Mr. Chappel certainly deserves the Patriot Award,” said White.

ESGR is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the National Guard and Reserve through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. ESGR also aids in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.

For more information about ESGR outreach programs of volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil/FL

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