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Employers get behind-the-scenes look at Iowa National Guard to visit their employees away from work

Employers board a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at Camp Ripley in Minnesota as part of the "Boss Lift," a behind-the-scenes look for employers to see their employees train. (Aaron Scheinblum/KCRG)
Employers board a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at Camp Ripley in Minnesota as part of the "Boss Lift," a behind-the-scenes look for employers to see their employees train. (Aaron Scheinblum/KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: Jul. 28, 2019 at 7:43 PM CDT
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Thousands of Iowans are currently training with the Army National Guard in Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

This past week served as a chance for employers to see their employees in action- working away from their normal job back home.

For a number of employers, they made the trip from as far as Iowa City to Camp Ripley in Minnesota as part of the "Boss Lift," hosted by the Iowa Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and the Iowa National Guard.

It definitely is a rare feat for people to get to see a military drone, even for those serving in the Army National Guard. So naturally, when it takes off, people want to take memories with them.

The same thing goes for Troy White, who got a chance to see one take off from close range. But White made the trip to Little Falls, Minn. for a very specific reason: to meet his co-worker from the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility- 1st Sgt. James Roller.

"He is one of my captains- 1st Sgt. Roller is one my captains there, and he works the second shift," White said, who serves as a supervisor at the correctional facility.

White was one of 20 employer representatives that made the trip north of Iowa as part of the "Boss Lift," a program that gives them a chance to see what their employees are doing when they are not at their typical line of work.

"With my rank, things come up, and so his flexibility and accommodations- he'll change the schedule up and make it happen so I have relief to attend those things," 1st Sgt. Roller said.

For White, visiting his co-worker was an easy decision, despite having to leave his job for a few days. He said when you see the time away from work Guard members like 1st Sgt. Roller makes, it is important to support those who serve.

That's something he knows from experience.

"I'm a veteran myself so anything I can do to help support them in any small way- these guys are in a lot of stress," White said.

"That's sort of a commonality that we have," 1st Sgt. Roller said." And it's just something I guess that kind of maybe bonds us a little bit."

The trip was meant to serve as a behind the scenes look. For some, it was eye-opening in more ways than just watching what activities their employees were doing, hundreds of miles away from home.

"It's the sacrifice," White said. "They're making a sacrifice from their families, from their work, from their jobs. And it's a small sacrifice for us to allow them to go do those things on our behalf."

That visit of support meant a whole lot to people like 1st Sgt. Roller.

"It was good to see him out here, and I'm trying to talk him into taking me home him but I don't think it's going to happen," 1st Sgt. Roller joked.

But it may have meant much more to those who made the trip.

"I'm glad to be here and I'm glad to be a part of it," White said.

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