FLEMINGTON, NJ (Hunterdon County) – Retired Air Force Colonel Joseph Milligan, formerly from Union Township, who spent nearly six years as a POW in North Vietnam, in remarks as guest speaker during the Hunterdon County Veterans Recognition Medal ceremony on Veterans Day, November 11, told County Veterans and officials how his ruse about Skippy peanut butter put one over on his captors and boosted his morale during the long period of captivity.
The military service of thirty-four County Veterans who received recognition medals this year was highlighted and presented by County officials, while the program was livestreamed from the Historic Courthouse in Flemington.
The Veterans ranged in service from the Korean War, to service in Vietnam, at Sea, in Germany during the Cold War, and the Global War on Terror. Several World War II Veterans were recognized posthumously.
Dan ‘Dr. D.’ Torrone, serving as Master of Ceremonies, told the veterans, “To All Our Veterans; those we recognized at this ceremony, all those who we honor today on Veterans Day, and those who are no longer with us. Thank you for your service. American freedom would not exist without your sacrifice.”
Colonel Milligan, now called Dr. Milligan after gaining a Doctorate in veterinary medicine from Cornell University, is a former fighter pilot flew 113 missions during the Vietnam War, received the Silver Star, and was recognized by the Air Force for ‘resisting demands despite the enemy’s mental and physical cruelties in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.’
The presenters included County Clerk Mary Melfi, Sheriff Fred Brown, Surrogate Susan Hoffman, Prosecutor Renee Robeson, Board of Commissioners Director Susan J. Soloway, and Commissioners Zach Rich and Shaun C. Van Doren.
County Chief of Staff Bradley Myhre made the presentation for his grandfather, a U.S. Army Veteran, and Reverend David Errickson of the Old Rocks Church of Lambertville provided the invocation and benediction for the ceremonies.
The Historic Courthouse’s bell was once again tolled twenty-one times in honor of Veterans at 11:00 am, on the 11th day of 11th month, a Veterans Day tradition begun by the County Board of Commissioners several years ago.