They also serve…

I rarely do a blind callout via News Cut to potential subjects of a story, but this time I’ll make an exception. I’m looking for people who (a) Are in the National Guard and have to juggle deployments with a fulltime job and (b) I’m looking for an employer who has to constantly juggle losing an employee to deployments. (Use this form)

For example, Minnesota’s 148th fighter wing of the National Guard is deploying to Iraq this fall, it’s the third time in four years the unit has been shipped out.

Not everyone in the unit is going. About 300 of the unit’s 1,000 members will ship out for a tour of anywhere from a month to 90 days.

“It’s a different construct than the Army,” International Falls resident Brian Briggs, the state’s Air National Guard command chief to the International Falls Daily Journal. “It is done in a way to minimize the impact that the individual has with their absence from employers and gives them a sense of predictability when they will go.”

It’s no picnic for the unit, of course, but I wonder if some of the unsung heroes of the last few years have been the employers and other workers who have also had to sacrifice?

Over in Milwaukee, for example, Aurora Health System has lost a dozen employees to deployments. “What we do is rely upon the staff that we have that many times are working additional shifts we may hire someone from the outside on a temporary basis,” said Dwight Morgan, vice president of human resources services for Aurora told WISC TV.

Last year MPR’s Tim Post profiled a similar problem faced by the St. Cloud Police Department and other employers in that area. In that story, the head of the Minnesota National Guard seemed to suggest employers are getting fairly tired of the situation.

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