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NEWS | Dec. 10, 2016

Citizen Soldier Receives ESGR Seven Seals Award

By Maj. Ruth Castro

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve honors employers that demonstrate significant achievement in support of the ESGR mission. Mr. Mike Caraballo, Citizen Soldier, received the ESGR Seven Seals Award on December 7.

Caraballo chairs the San Antonio, Texas Chapter of the Veterans’ Team Member Network (VTMN-San Antonio) within Wells Fargo and Company and is the commander of the 166th Regional Support Group on Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico.

“It is very humbling and an honor to receive this award,” said Caraballo. “This award is a representation of the dedicated support of the members of the Veteran Team Member Network in San Antonio.”

Along with his 175 member team from this chapter, Caraballo shows dedication to the local Veteran community in San Antonio. “All the support starts with the leadership of Mike as he encourages the VTMN-San Antonio with his positive attitude and sound leadership,” said Tom Simonet, Chair of the Central Region Veterans Team Member Network in Minnesota in his nomination letter. “The team consistently supports events that benefit our Veterans, current active duty members and drilling Reserve Soldiers.”

“I believe supporting our families and communities is a critical part of serving our nation, and is part of our vigilance and readiness process,” said Caraballo. “I will continue to support our veteran employees through our Veteran Mentoring Program and the events we sponsor within our community.”

The Seven Seals Award is the broadest and most inclusive award given by ESGR and is presented at the discretion of the State Chair or by ESGR senior leadership. The Seven Seals Award is presented in recognition of a significant individual or organizational achievement, initiative, or support that promotes and supports the ESGR mission, to include the efforts of the more than 4,500 volunteers who carry out ESGR’s mission across the nation on a daily basis.

Since the beginning of the year, the VTMN- San Antonio chapter has provided 190 volunteers to assist the local veteran community in a variety of events. “Through Mike’s encouragement, these volunteers stepped forward to staff Wreaths Across America, Transformation of Homes for Veterans, Stand at Attention, Honor Flights, and various career fairs,” continued Simonet.

“On Saturday, Dec. 17, we will lay holiday wreaths on over 1,000 resting places in the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery,” commented Caraballo. “San Antonio is known as Military City, and there is a strong need to continue to support our Veterans due to their diverse needs.

Within the next week, these dedicated volunteers will continue their support to Veterans by participating in the Valor Games. Volunteers will assist with the background tasks to ensure the seven event games execution is flawless. The VTMN team also provided support to the Welcome Home Veterans event held at Morgan’s Wonderland in the month of May. As always, these volunteers treated every Veteran with kindness and open arms.

Caraballo mentioned what a humbling experience it is to be around the veterans that reside in San Antonio or that participate in events. “My favorite event to volunteer for is the annual Valor Games. San Antonio is one of the four locations that the Valor Games take place,” said Caraballo. “In 2016 it was wonderful to meet and speak with the 5 Veterans that traveled from Puerto Rico to participate in the games, I look forward to hopefully seeing them again next year and maybe more from Puerto Rico.”

“All the volunteering needs the constant flow of information,” said Simonet. ”Mike’s leadership team keeps everyone informed of any upcoming events by using email and newsletters. He prepares his team and is the first to acknowledge that they are the true hard workers.”

“Mike tirelessly works behind the scenes to champion the Veterans’ needs of his community,” concluded Simonet.