RALEIGH, N.C. (9/13/10)--Roughly 300 managers of State Employees’ CU (SECU) branches and operations departments participated in a Statement of Support signing for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program. The signing showed SECU’s continuing commitment to their employees serving in the military. Framed Statements of Support will hang in each SECU branch and department throughout North Carolina. The Statement of Support Program is ESGR’s national effort to gain and maintain employer support for reservists, by developing employers into advocates for employee participation in the military. For its employee-reservists, SECU offers one-week paid military leave annually, provides a pay differential when an employee is deployed and keeps the benefits of the soldiers active when they are mobilized. SECU personnel support their deployed co-workers by sending care packages and letters and assisting family members left behind during deployment. “SECU was very helpful and positive while preparing me for my 15-month tour to Iraq,” said Cathy Baker, a National Guard reservist and financial services officer. “They went over and beyond what they were required to do by law. “Months before I arrived home, Elizabeth [Fair, branch manager] took it upon herself to make sure that the two most important people in my life, my sons, were taken care of and ready for me to come home,” she added. She unselfishly supported me through the entire deployment. It was important to her to have my boys there, along with herself, to surprise me when I returned home. I arrived to posters, flowers, flags, warm faces and big hugs. I felt truly missed and an important member of the team here at the Benson branch.” SECU waives ATM fees for deployed soldiers, and has undertaken many National Guard initiatives, said Jim Barber, SECU board chair. “This landmark ESGR Statement of Support signing really brings home the magnitude of SECU’s commitment to our own employee-reservists, our appreciation for their sacrifice, and our commitment to all our member-soldiers overseas,” Barber added. SECU, Raleigh, N.C., has $21 billion in assets.