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Employer Support of the Guard and the Reserve Breakfast starts Armed Forces Week in Milwaukee

Milwaukee -

Armed Forces week officially underway with the serving of Breakfast with the Boss at Milwaukee's War Memorial Monday morning.

The breakfast honors the reserves and the employers who allow their employees to serve in this vital function while maintaining employment and community involvement.

The highlight in the presentation of the Major Richard I. Bong Award to a member of each branch of the military.

The award is the namesake of Major Bong who was born in Superior, Wisconsin and raised on a farm near Poplar.

He would go to bring down 40 enemy aircraft in aerial combat during World War Two.

Major Bong's decorations includes the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, even Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The Medal of Honor was personally bestowed by General Douglas MacArthur in the Pacific.

General MacArthur lauded Major Bong as the greatest fighter ace of all Americans.

The "Ace of Aces."

Major Bong tragically lost his life in a test flight of a P80 jet on August 5, 1945 at the age of 24.

The 2017 recipients of the Major Bong Award are:

US Coast Guard Reserve Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin E. Stern.

US Navy Reserve Logistics Specialist Phillip C. Balestrieri

WI Air National Guard Quality Assurance SMSgt Darrin Sabol

US Army Reserve SSG Eric E. Schmid

The tradition of Americans serving their country as members of the Guard and Reserve goes back more than 200 years.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve or ESGR seeks to support patriotic employers who share their employees with the nation.

You can contact ESGR at (608) 242-3169.

For a link to Milwaukee Armed Forces Week website click here

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