Local man receives award for support of Guard, Reserve
Dave Fombelle, co-proprietor of the Blue Boar Restaurant and Great Boars of Fire Catering, recently received the Seven Seals Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, ESGR.
ESGR was established in 1972 and is a U.S. Department of Defense office.
The basic purpose of ESGR is to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees.
Since its inception, the mission of ESGR has remained essentially the same; however, what has changed dramatically is the importance of the Guard and Reserves as part of America’s overall military readiness.
On Saturday, Aug. 26, Col. Ron Bacci, the state chairman of ESGR in Illinois, explained that since Sept. 11, 2001, the Guard and Reserves have come to represent almost 50 percent of the nation’s standing military.
Bacci also noted that Guard and Reserve components receive the same training as their full-time counterparts in the seven services.
Jim Osberg, an employer outreach representative from Carbondale and a member of the Illinois ESGR executive committee, nominated Fombelle “for his unwavering support of Guard and Reserve components” through activities such as ESGR’s Breakfasts with the Boss, which are designed to inform employers of the importance of their Guard and Reserve employees to national security.
In another instance, Fombelle was approached by the 634th Brigade Support Battalion concerning his capability to serve 500 meals to service members being deployed to Afghanistan and their families.
When he was informed that the unit had no money for the activity, Fombelle provided the meals at no cost to the Guard units which compose the 634th Brigade Support Battalion.
Fombelle also is known for assisting the Grassy Lake Hunting Club in Ware in the club’s initiative with the Wounded Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Grassy Lake provides hunting opportunities to wounded warriors at no cost. Fombelle has provided pre-hunt and post-hunt meals at no cost at the Blue Boar for a number of years.
An ESGR news release about the honor presented to the Union County resident shared that “an unaware Fombelle humbly received ESGR’s prestigious Seven Seals Award before a contingent of ESGR employer and military outreach volunteers, which included state ESGR chair Col. Ron Bacci of Chicago; Julie Campbell of West Frankfort; Dayton Loyd and Maj. Danielle Loyd, and Jim Osberg of Carbondale; Tom Korth and Laurie Silvey of Springfield, to the delight of a full house of loyal Blue Boar patrons.”