July 20, 2004 at 2:04 AM EST - Updated July 28 at 3:55 PM
Troop Employers Honored
National Guard and Reserve soldiers make up nearly half of the military, and on Monday in Cincinnati those men and women were honored -- along with the employers who make it possible for them to leave their jobs and defend our country.
By law, employers must grant leave to Guard and Reserve employees, but many of those companies and government agencies do more, often paying full salaries and benefits for months on end.
A national group called Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve held a ceremony at the Westin Hotel. Cincinnati Councilmember Pat Dewine read a proclamation honoring soldiers and employers. Thanks were also offered by the parents of Matt Maupin, the Union Township soldier who has been missing in Iraq since April 9.
People were also encouraged to sign a banner showing support for the troops. The hope is to get 1.2 million signatures nationally -- one for every Guard or Reservist now in service.