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HOUSTON — Mayor Annise Parker today announced the City of Houston has been named the 2012 Pro Patria Award Recipient for Texas, the highest award given to an employer by the Texas Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. “As a city government, we remain committed to go above and beyond the minimum federal requirements to support our military employees and their families. They play a key role in our continued success as a city, and we are deeply appreciative of their service to our citizens, city and country,” said Mayor Parker. “We are honored to receive the ESGR’s highest award in Texas.” Pro Patria is a latin term, meaning for one’s country. Part of ESGR’s mission is to recognize employers who excel at supporting their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. Each year, the Texas ESGR Committee selects one large employer in the state as a Pro Patria recipient. That organization is recognized for providing the most exceptional support of national defense through leadership practices and personnel policies supporting employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972. Its mission is to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law and resolving conflicts through informal mediation. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation and, if necessary, mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees. The Pro Patria Award ceremony will be held at 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 22, 2012, at the Radisson Hotel and Suites in downtown Austin.