Shofner Vision Center named 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipient



Shofner Vision Center named 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipientWASHINGTON –­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, announced today that Shofner Vision Center of Nashville, Tennessee, is one of 15 recipients of the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the Department’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees. This year’s recipients were selected from 2,864 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists for going far beyond what the federal law requires to support their military employees.

"I'm honored to announce the recipients of the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award," said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. "Guardsmen and Reservists across the nation rely on strong bonds with their civilian employers. By recognizing these 15 exceptional employers, the Department of Defense celebrates the contributions made by American employers to our Citizen Warriors. I commend these extraordinary employers for their unwavering commitment to service members and their families."

Shofner Vision Center was nominated by Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Kevin Johnson from the 10th Aeromedical Squadron at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He highlighted the company’s ongoing communication during his deployment and publicly recognizing his military achievements. Shofner Vision Center created the United Military Support (UMS) program to challenge local businesses to jointly fund community non-profit organizations that aid military members. The company also offers free eye surgeries to injured service members and significant discounts to all military customers.

The 2014 Freedom Award recipients below will be honored at a ceremony in the Pentagon Sept. 26:

Employer Location
Arizona Public Service Phoenix, Arizona
AT&T Dallas, Texas
Capital One McLean, Virginia
CH2M-WG Idaho Idaho Falls, Idaho
General Mills, Inc. Golden Valley, Minnesota
J.G. Management Systems, Inc. Grand Junction, Colorado
Los Angeles Fire Department Los Angeles, California
N.H. Department of Environmental Services Concord, New Hampshire
PNC Bank Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Shofner Vision Center Nashville, Tennessee
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Memphis, Tennessee
Triumph Pharmaceuticals Inc. St. Louis, Missouri
UNC Health Care Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Washoe County School District Reno, Nevada
Zions Bank Salt Lake City, Utah

For more information about the Freedom Award and this year’s recipients, visit www.FreedomAward.mil under the Media Tab in the Press Releases section.

The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 190 employers have been honored with the award. To learn more about ESGR, visit www.ESGR.mil.

For questions or interviews regarding the Freedom Award, contact Beth Sherman, ESGR Public Affairs, at OSD.ESGR-PA@mail.mil or by phone at 571-372-0705.