Each year, the West Virginia ESGR Committee selects one large employer in the state as a Pro Patria recipient. That company is recognized as having provided the most exceptional support of national defense through leadership practices and personnel policies that support employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

“Arch Coal has stepped up to the plate, providing support not only to the service members, but to their families as well,” said Joseph Holley, West Virginia ESGR state chairman. “Arch, on a nationwide basis, has supported our troops with programs such as differential pay, continuation of medical benefits, personal family visits, care packages and continual contact with the service member while deployed. Arch Coal regularly acknowledges its service members’ contributions to our nation’s defense through in-house newsletters and gifts, such as computers, backpacks and other convenience items. When they return home, they are not forgotten. A warm welcome and a job await them. Arch Coal both respects and honors its service member employees, and for that, we are eternally grateful. I am proud to have Arch Coal in our community and encourage all employers to emulate its support.”

Mountain Laurel was a semifinalist for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award and previously was honored with the ESGR Patriot and the Above & Beyond awards. The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense’s highest recognition, given to employers for exceptional support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.