EMPLOYER AWARD: Iowa Law Firm Honored

One look at Kristina Stanger’s office and you know she’s a busy woman.

She’s an attorney at the Nyemaster Law Firm, and the mother of two.

That’s a lot to handle, especially on your own, which she did for a year, while her husband, Staff Sergeant Doug Stanger served in Afghanistan.

Kristina says, “The real trick, I think for a lot of military families, and what I experienced anyway, is that it’s okay to rely on say neighbors or family or friends or your employer.”

Kristina knows more than most military wives what deployment is all about; She’s also a Major in the Iowa National Guard.

She was deployed to Iraq from 2003 to 2004.

They didn’t have any children during her deployment, so SSG Doug Stanger says, “I had to take care of the house that’s not a big deal.  Whereas she had the house, the two kids, so she had a lot more stress than I did.”

The dual military element gives the Stangers a unique perspective on deployment.

Doug says, “It’s probably more difficult or more stressful being at home than it is being deployed.”

Kristina says her family, friends and her employer helped ease the stress in big and small ways.

In the past, Nyemaster has done things like scholarships and golf hole sponsorships.

Nyemaster stepped up again when a close friend, Staff Sergeant James Justice, was killed in combat.

Doug says, “They told her not to worry about billing hours when we lost Juice and that hit her hard, hit me hard you know the time off that she could deal with things was really reassuring.  That was a big deal for me.”

It was an even bigger deal when Nyemaster offered Justice’s daughter a scholarship.  As a result, Nyemaster is being honored with the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.  Nationwide, more than 3,000 companies were nominated.  Only 15 will receive the award in Washington next month.

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