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Reaching for the Sky with the National Guard and Reserve

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Healing doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it takes the support and collaboration of a caring community to make promising futures possible for kids and families. That’s why community partnerships are so important to all of us involved with the Idaho Youth Ranch. Both on the job and off, we welcome opportunities to connect with a broad range of other service organizations, from the YMCA to United Way to the Idaho National Guard.

Greg Orlando, our program director at Anchor House, recently had the honor of being nominated by one of his staff who serves in the Guard to take part in “Operation Boss Lift 2015,” sponsored by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

The mission of ESGR is to “gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law, and resolving conflicts through mediation.”

Greg was one of about 120 Idaho bosses who were flown to Gowen Field in a C-130 Hercules for an amazing opportunity to see and experience first-hand the mission and the day-to-day activities of the dedicated men and women behind our state’s Guard and Reserve (scroll down for more photos).

In Greg’s own words:

The Boss Lift experience was both rewarding and exciting, with hands-on involvement with military aircraft (flew in a Blackhawk), weapons and flight simulators (practiced destroying an enemy radar system while flying an A-10) and weapons simulators (went after a Humvee turret gunner while “under fire”).

We participated in briefings on current missions and commitments. We were asked about concerns regarding our employees, and were encouraged to offer recommendations and ideas for improving the employer/employee relationship for veterans with respect to the consequences of their military service.

I left with increased awareness of how the National Guard and Reserve forces support our communities and a better understanding of how we can all support the men and women who serve. Sure it was fun, but more than that it was a great learning experience and a great privilege.

I myself am a veteran, and believe we all live in a great country, despite our problems. I am proud to be a citizen and grateful to be part of the Idaho Youth Ranch- an organization which works tirelessly for the benefit of at-risk kids and families and enjoys the freedom and support to do this important work.    

  

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