At any given time, 50 percent of our armed forces are made up of National Guard or Reserves.
That's why local business leaders got a chance to visit Gowen Field and see how the service members they hire are so important to national security...and how that translates into success for their businesses.
"If you hire military member who serves part time whether you wear the uniform or not, you too are serving your country and supporting national defense and you're the epitome of our motto that we all serve." says Karla Draper, State Vice Chair of the Employer support of Guard and Reserve Committee.
That's a fact that's sometimes hard to remember.
Hiring guard members can add a challenge to your business.
But this exercise shows business leaders why the benefits are substantial.
"To see the amount of rigor involved to shoulder and how that translates into the work force to produce really great employees." says Peder Hunlen-Ahearn, Deputy Chief of Ada County Paramedics.
He is one of dozens of business leaders from The Valley who got to see first hand what their Guard members do when they're gone.
Something he was determined to see.
"Absolutely, make time for it," says Hunlen, "It's worth it. Business will always be there and there will always be more work. It's important to see what our employees are doing so we can help them out."
The Department of Defense started the employer support of Guard and Reserve committee in 1972 when it decided to make reserves such a big part of combat operations.
And that volunteer committee sets up events like this to make sure everyone knows the value of those who serve.
"Its' just an extra level of being proud," says Hunlen, "We're very proud of our employees."