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OSHKOSH, WI: Wisconsin Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Committee, a Department of Defense program announced that Erik Larson, president of ECM Holding Group was honored with a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of one of their employees – Staff Sgt. Kenton Craddock who serves in the Wisconsin Air National Guard. The award was presented by ESGR area chair Jerry Clusen at offices of ECM Holding Group.

According to Wisconsin ESGR Chair Mike Williams, “Erik Larson was nominated for this prestigious national award by their employee Kenton Craddock who is a member of the Air National Guard. The Patriot Award is only presented to employers who not only hire Guard and Reserve members, but demonstrate superior support to the military employee and his/her family. The National Guard and Reserve Forces are the cornerstone of our national defense. Larson has provided outstanding support and cooperation and has exhibited a patriotic spirit which is reflected in the significance of being a recipient of the Patriot Award.”

Photo (L2R): Jerry Clusen, ESGR area chair; Erik Larson, President of ECM Holding Group; Staff Sgt. Kenton Craddock

Craddock, who serves as a Marketing Specialist at ECM Holding Group, stated “during my interview process over two years ago, Erik hired me knowing my deep commitment and future military obligations to the 128th Air Control Squadron and the Wisconsin Air National Guard. He supported the fact I recently returned from deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2013 prior to my employment, with the possibility I may deploy again in the future.”

In August 2015, Craddock deployed as a weapons director in support of contingency operations. During this time Erik Larson allowed Craddock to utilize company tools to use for personal and military purposes. “Erik provided permission to bring a company-issued computer overseas, which assisted with my task to generate artwork and videos for military morale and training for the 727 Expeditionary Air Control Squadron” said Craddock. “He also ensured my role and employment at ECM would continue immediately post-deployment, and made arrangement for work absences to allow me to attend post-deployment obligations.”

As the 1.3 million members of the National Guard and Reserve continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions that require extraordinary actions on the part of everyday citizens, ESGR will continue to be the informational agency for the employers of citizen warriors. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at, or by calling Chris Campbell of the Wisconsin ESGR Committee, at 608-242-3169.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve was established in 1972. 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 informal mediation. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation, and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees.

For more information, visit the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve website.

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