MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – The Morris County Board of County Commissioners presented their Distinguished Military Service Medals to ten veterans Tuesday at the Morris County Annual Memorial Day Observance ceremony outside the Morris County Courthouse in Morristown, where honors also were delivered by state legislators and Congressional representatives.
U.S. Reps. Mikie Sherrill and Thomas Malinowski, along with Sen. Anthony Bucco, Assemblywoman Aura Dunn and Assemblyman Christian Barranco also presented honors to the veterans, whose service ranged from the Korean War to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“These medals are unique to Morris County, and they have been awarded for well over 20 years to Veterans or their family members to honor their service to our country. And we are proud to continue our tradition today,” said Commissioner Director Tayfun Selen.
“These medals began when we wanted to honor our Greatest Generation – those who fought in World War II. But we expanded the program to cover other times of service by our men and women, including the Korean War, Vietnam and other conflicts when our armed forces put their lives on the line. Once again, we are officially expanding our program. This year, we will include medals specifically designed to recognize service in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan,” Selen said.
The Guest Speaker was Emerson Crooks of the VFW Post 7333 in Randolph, which is hosting the Vietnam Memorial “Moving Wall” – a half-sized replica of the Washington, D.C. monument – at the County College of Morris from July 7 through July 11. Mr. Emerson spoke of the need to continue to honor veterans, noting that the WWI Memorial and WWII Memorials in Washington, D.C. are getting fewer visitors each year, and that he fears the monument to his generation’s service in Vietnam will suffer the same fate.
Father Stepan Bilyk of St. John’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Whippany provided the invocation for the event, beginning with some remarks about Ukraine’s resilience and hope in the face of the ongoing invasion by Russian forces
Joseph Bryan Barbato, Boonton Township
Served in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom during nearly 15-years of service with the New Jersey Army National Guard.
David Ernest Brady, Morristown
Served as an U.S Army Medical Corpsman in his term of service, from November 1964 through October 1970 during the Vietnam War.
William Everett Brady, Morristown
Served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Korea during the Vietnam War from June 1962 through June 1965.
Robert Kent Shaw, Boonton Township (posthumous)
Served in the Korean War after being inducted into the U.S. Army on April 11, 1951 and, upon returning from Korea on April 17, 1953, Mr. Shaw was transferred to the Army Reserves and honorably discharged on May 6, 1957.
Arthur Charles Schumm, Rockaway Borough
Served with the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War from May 2, 1968 through March 30, 1972.
Carl “Mike” Cabañas, Morristown
Served in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom with the U.S. Army from Oct. 1, 2000 through July 21, 2013.
John P. Wagener, Montville
Served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, from June 1957 through May 1969.
Ketankuma “Ketan” A. Shah, Parsippany
Served in the United States Marine Corps in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Thomas Philip Infusino, III, Montville
Served in the New Jersey Army National Guard, including a tour in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2013.
Nancy M. Jones, Wharton
Served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War from August 1967 through September 1968.
Richard Alan Elfenbein, Flanders (posthumous)
Served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War from 1966 through 1968.