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Three Wisconsin employers of National Guard and Reserve members are among the 150 employers nationwide selected as semifinalists for the 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

Semifinalists include Mercury Marine, a Division of Brunswick Corporation, in Fond Du Lac; Stainless Tank and Equipment Company, LLC in Beloit; and the State of Wisconsin.

The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense’s highest honor for employers that provide extraordinary support to their Guard and Reserve employees.

“These employers are serving our military and our nation proudly through their support of our citizen warriors,” said Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) National Chair Paul E. Mock. “They are helping to keep America strong, and we are grateful for the important role they play in maintaining the well-being of our Guard and Reserve members and families.”

ESGR will announce the 2015 Freedom Award finalists after a review board of military and civilian leaders selects 30 finalists. Final award recipients will be announced in early summer and honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Wisconsin had submitted 69 employers for Freedom Award consideration.

ESGR first presented the Freedom Award in 1996 to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 205 employers have been honored with the award.