School board signs certificate of support for Guard and Reserve   

By Julie Fann
star staff

ÊÊ  The Carter County School Board on Thursday signed a certificate of support for the National Guard and Army Reserve during its regularly held monthly meeting.
  "I have been contacted by Brad Moffitt, who is finance director for the city, and he has asked for us to join other local governments in signing a statement of support for the Guard and Reserve. This statement does not include any language in it that local governments are not currently bound by federal law," Superintendent Dallas Williams said.
  James M. Cross, chairman of the Northeast Tennessee Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, spoke on behalf of the organization and the certificate of support. He complimented the county's efforts to establish visible signs of support for local veterans, including the memorial park in downtown Elizabethton.
  "The Guard and Reserve comprises 50 percent of the total force, and, as you're well aware with national events, we have more and more Guard and Reserve being activated all the time," Cross said, mentioning the deployment last Sunday of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment based in Bristol, Tennessee. The 278th departed first for training at Camp Shelby in Mississippi and additional preparation in California before heading to Iraq.
  "They'll be there on active duty 18 months, maybe 24, so with an all-volunteer force it is important that we have the support of employers and the community and the citizens of this nation for the Guard and Reserve," Cross said.
  After thanking Cross for his statement, Williams read information contained in the certificate, and board members approved the signing of the document, part of which reads: We join other employers in pledging that, 1) Employment will not be denied because of service to the Guard or Reserve; 2) Employee job or career opportunities will not be limited or reduced because of service to the Guard or Reserve; 3) Employees will be granted leaves of absence for military training in the Guard or Reserve consistent with existing laws without sacrifice of vacation, and 4) This agreement and its resultant policies will be made known throughout our organization.
  The CCSB will present its annual budget to the full County Commission at the commission's next scheduled meeting on Monday, June 28, at 7 p.m. in the Carter County courthouse.