[Left] Brad Marzullo, [Right] Rebecca Kruse[Left] Brad Marzullo, [Right] Rebecca Kruse

One could say that Rebecca Kruse, residence life director at Concordia University Wisconsin, has an increased passion for the military after recently receiving a Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

The highest recognition given by the United States Government’s Secretary of Defense Office honors Kruse “as a Patriotic Employer for contributing to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve Force.” She was nominated last fall by Brad Marzullo, a military reservist in the Headquarters and Headquarters Company 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Milwaukee, and the resident director of Heidelberg and Wittenberg residence halls on Concordia’s 200-acre campus. Marzullo recently enrolled in Concordia’s graduate social work program.

The ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers.  More than 4,500 volunteers across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories work to promote and enhance employer support of military service in the Guard and Reserve.

“This award came as a total surprise to me,” said Kruse, while noting Marzullo has always made it easy to accommodate his military reserve schedule.  “Brad’s a very detail-oriented person and there have never been any surprises in his reservist schedule,” continued Kruse, whose younger sister Erika is serving in the U.S. Marines Corps. “Brad has truly been a great role model to our undergraduate students, especially with his involvement in an area child protective services program.”

“Rebecca went above and beyond in helping Brad continue to take care of his military reserve needs,” noted Eduardo Garza, director of veteran services at Concordia University Wisconsin. Garza also serves as commander of Concordia’s American Legion Post 1881, one of only 10 American Legion posts on a university or college campus in the United States. “Rebecca’s award shows that not only is Concordia a military friendly school to our veterans who are serving to protect our freedom; we are a military friendly school to our employees,” Garza added.

For more details on the Veterans Service Program at Concordia University Wisconsin, please visit www.cuw.edu/veterans.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

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