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Shayla Nowakowski, left, of Great Dane Trailers, received a Department of Defense Patriot Award Thursday from William Burkhard, northcentral Pennsylvania area chair of the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve office. Also receiving a Patriot Award but unable to attend the presentation was Seth Novak.

ELYSBURG — Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) honored Shayla Nowakowski and Seth Novak of Great Dane Trailers on Thursday with a Patriot Award in recognition of their “extraordinary support of its employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.”

William Burkhard, ESGR Pennsylvania northcentral area chair, said the award was created to recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to its employees, “who, like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve.”

Sgt. Derek Cummings of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard nominated Nowakowski and Novak for being highly supportive of his PA National Guard career.

ESGR, a Department of Defense (DoD) office, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR says it facilitates and promotes “a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR’s mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.”

For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call 1- 800-336-4590 or visit

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