COL John Dwyer, Public Affairs Officer 
IMMEDIATE (29 November 2001)

162 New Jerseyans will Receive State’s Top Military Award Nov. 30

JERSEY CITY, NJ - A special award ceremony will be held on November 30, 2001, at 11:00 a.m. at the Margaret Williams Theater, Hepburn Hall, New Jersey City University, Jersey City. Senator Edward O'Connor will present the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal, the state’s top military award, to 162 state residents who are combat veterans of the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Persian Gulf War, Somalia or Bosnia. 

In order to be eligible for the Distinguished Service Medal, recipients must currently be a resident of New Jersey and also have been a resident of the state at the time they entered into military service; have been honorably discharged; and, must have received at least the equivalent of the Air Medal, Purple Heart, or Bronze Star or proof of having served in combat while on active duty during wartime. Those recipients whose service was recognized by the award of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal or equivalent medal will receive a NJ Distinguished Service Medal with an oak leaf cluster.  The DSM can be awarded posthumously to the next-of-kin of a veteran who meets the criteria.

The NJ  DSM was originally issued in 1858 for those who had distinguished themselves in the New Jersey Militia, but was infrequently used until re-authorized by Governor Kean in 1988.

After the Spanish American War, the Mexican Border Expedition and again after World War I, the State of New Jersey minted special medals for returning NJ veterans to honor their service. After WWII, Korea, Vietnam and subsequent combat actions no such medal was available. The State of New Jersey was looking for an appropriate way to honor all of these returning combat veterans and acknowledge the debt the state owed them for their service. The NJ DSM was then authorized for that purpose. It is New Jersey’s highest military award. 

Since its re-authorization in 1988, more than 8,500 medals have been awarded to combat veterans from New Jersey. 

“The New Jersey veterans receiving the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal are a credit to our state and our nation.  Their sacrifice and their bravery in combat is truly deserving of New Jersey’s highest military award.  The award also serves as a great way to thank our veterans for their extraordinary achievements while our nation has been at war,” said Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco.

In order to be eligible for the Distinguished Service Medal you must meet all the following criteria:

~ currently be a resident of New Jersey
~ have been a resident of New Jersey  at the time you entered into military service
~ have been honorably discharged
~ have proof of having served in combat while on active duty during wartime. 

Those recipients whose service was recognized by the award of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal or equivalent medal will receive a NJ Distinguished Service Medal with an oak leaf cluster. 

The DSM can be awarded posthumously to the next-of-kin of a veteran who meets the criteria.

Anyone interested in applying for the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal should send a written request together with copies of all pertinent information, discharge document (e.g. DD 214 ), award citation, honorable discharge, etc. to: 

P.O. Box 340 
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0340
Be sure to include full name, home address and daytime telephone number. 


Margaret Williams Theater, Hepburn Hall, New Jersey City University, Jersey City

NOVEMBER 30,  2001

LEGEND:  (WAR ) CW=Civil War, I=World War I, II=World War II,  K=Korea, V=Vietnam, L=Lebanon, G=Grenada, P=Panama, DSS=Desert Shield/Storm, S=Somalia, B=Bosnia

Rank First Name MI Last Name Posthumous Branch City Cluster war
Private 1st Class Michael Accunzo Army Belleville II
Specialist Four Edward T. Addison Army Washington Twp. V
Lance Corporal Gerald R. Ahearn Marine Corps Lodi V
Private 1st Class Peter M. Albano Army Long Valley II
Private 1st Class Daniel J. Allen Army Boonton Twp. II
Major Francis A. Ambrose Army Lincoln Park II
Petty Officer 1st Class William A. Armenti Navy Bayonne II
Technician 5th Grade John G. Aupperlee Army Prospect Park II
Petty Officer 2nd Class Vincent Bavaro Navy West Milford V
Private 1st Class Eugene G. Benedetto Marine Corps Bayonne Cluster K
Private 1st Class Louis Biagi Army Hawthorne II
Staff Sergeant Michael Brelinsky Army Bayonne II
Private 1st Class Dennis M. Buesing Army Nutley V
Sergeant Ronald F. Burnett Army Moonachie V
Seaman 2nd Class Martin J. Callaghan Navy II
Private 1st Class Frank J. Cascio Army West Milford II
Seaman Robert J. Cassella Navy Oakland V
Sergeant John P. Chrzanowski Army Hackensack Cluster V
Specialist Four William J. Church Army West Milford Cluster V
Master Sergeant Attilio S. Cipriano Army Kearny Cluster II
Sergeant William J. Conradi Army Morris Plains II
Corporal Louis Cosenza Marine Corps Paterson II
Technician 4th Grade John C. Cox Army Jersey City II
Staff Sergeant Donald J. Cruden posthumous Marine Corps Cluster V
Airman 1st Class Thomas G. Cusati Air Force Montvale V
Private 1st Class Michael J. D'Errico Army Harrison V
Specialist Five James N. Davis Army East Orange V
Specialist Four Robert t. Dilworth Army West New York V
Captain Jerome A. Dolan Army Jersey City K
Colonel James F. Dolan Army Jersey City Cluster V
Private 1st Class James M. Donovan posthumous Army Bayonne Cluster II
Technician 5th Grade Stephen C. Dorniak Army Chatham II
Specialist Four John Dubyna Army Passaic V
Private 1st Class Stephen Dvorsky Army Glen Gardner II
Private 1st Class Charles L. Eschbach Army Secaucus V
Sergeant James P. Esposito Army Ledgewood V
Staff Sergeant Preston B. Fairlamb Army Butler Cluster V
Commander Lucille T. Fallon Army Wood Ridge II
Specialist Four Leonard W, Fash Army Garfield Cluster V
Specialist Four Michael Fernandes Army Midland Park V
Private 1st Class John P. Ferrante Army Secaucus II
Specialist Four Thomas F. Fiore Army Waldwick Cluster V
1st Lieutenant Allen M. Flejzor Army Wallington Cluster V
Staff Sergeant Richard J. Franke Army Ramsey Cluster V
Specialist Four Frank R. Garofalo Army Hawthorne V
1st Lieutenant Robert H. Gascoyne Army Wayne Cluster V
Private 1st Class John Gatti Army Cedar Knolls K
Technician 5th Grade Michael N. George Army Dover II
Specialist Four Jose A. Gonzalez Army Hawthorne V
Coxwain Stanley F. Grandzel Navy Fair Lawn II
Corporal George F. Gray Marine Corps North Bergen II
Sergeant Alfred J. Gunderson Air Force Paramus V
Sergeant Robert A. Hancox Marine Corps Ridgewood V
Sergeant William G. Hanford Marine Corps Hillsdale V
Corporal Michael R. Hatala Army Clifton II
Electronic Warfare Technician 3rd Class Daniel M. Heffernan Navy Wyckoff L
Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard A Henry Navy Annandale II
Corporal Joseph R. Inganamort Marine Corps New Milford Cluster V
Technical Sergeant Herman R. Jenisch Army Oakland Cluster II
Sergeant Phillip Jennings Army Passaic V
Lance Corporal Robert J. Jones Marine Corps North Bergen V
Staff Sergeant John F. Kaczynski Army Bayonne II
Technician 4th Grade Wesley A. Kapec posthumous Army Bayonne II
Private Bernard M. Kearns Army North Arlington K
Specialist Four Robert B. Klein Army Bloomingdale V
Specialist Four Karl R. Klinger Army Denville V
Corporal Fred J. Kobylarz Army Passaic K
Staff Sergeant Joel H. Kohn Army Passaic II
Sergeant Edward W. Koppenaal Marine Corps Palisades Park V
Sergeant Steven A. Kovacs Marine Corps Denville V
1st Lieutenant Fred P. Krukiel Army Kearny II
Staff Sergeant Kenneth J. Lentz posthumous Army Oakland Cluster V
Corporal Sinibaldo Leone Army Glen Rock II
Corporal Anthony C. Lombardo Marine Corps W. Paterson K
Specialist Four Joseph P. Lopez Army Carlstadt V
Technician 5th Grade Vincent LoRe Army Bayonne II
Sergeant Joseph J. Luzzi Army Clifton II
Sergeant John R. Marra Army Denville K
Machinist Mate 3rd Class Manfred Matthews Navy Waldwick V
Specialist Four James J. McGinnis Army Waldwick V
Sergeant William P. McNally Air Force Lodi V
Private 1st Class James J. McNamara Army Kearny II
Specialist Five Joseph W. Metzler Army Hawthorne Cluster V
Sergeant John F. Michenfelder Marine Corps Mendham Cluster II
1st Sergeant Stanley E. Michna posthumous Army Lyndhurst Cluster II
Specialist Five Richard E. Miller Army North Bergen V
Specialist Four Donald W. Miller Army Mine Hill V
Technician 5th Grade Allen L. Morrison posthumous Army Denville II
1st Lieutenant James J. Muirhead Army Manasquan II
Private James R. Muirhead Marine Corps Hillsborough Cluster V
Airman 2nd Class Matthew V. Mullane Air Force Bayonne V
Sergeant Dorothy S. Nash Army Livingston II
Lieutenant Paul M. Neira Navy Jersey City DSS
Private 1st Class Peter N. Neri Army Belleville Cluster II
Specialist Four Hugh Nielsen Army Westwood V
Aircraft Electrician 3rd Class Fredrick C. Nolfe Navy Oakland V
Sergeant 1st Class William N. O'Connell Army Wall Twp. K
Technician 4th Grade Edward T. O'Connor posthumous Army Bayonne II
Corporal William J. Ohlson Marine Corps Bloomfield V
Specialist Four Siegfried Olender Army Ridgefield V
Specialist Four Nelson Pagan Army Oradell V
Specialist Four Anthony J. Palomba Army Clifton V
Private 1st Class Robert H. Patrick Bayonne V
Lieutenant Junior Grade Edward W. Pawlowski posthumous Navy Brick Cluster V
Specialist Four Michael W. Peterson Army Elizabeth Cluster S
Seaman Kenneth A. Pieklo Navy Tenafly V
Yeoman 3rd Class Pasquale A. Pignatelli Navy Oakland V
Donald J. Price Merchant Marines Budd Lake II
Specialist Four Robert J. Puleo Army Clifton Cluster V
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ladislaus J. Rak Navy Clifton V
Technician 5th Grade Thomas Randis Army Livingston II
Sergeant Howell N. Reitz Marine Corps Westwood II
Private 1st Class John A. Roberts Marine Corps Kearny II
Specialist Five Frederic J. Robins Army Tenafly Cluster V
Staff Sergeant Joseph J. Rodzen Army Paterson V
Machinist Mate 1st Class Robert E. Roy Navy Secaucus II
Corporal Stanley Rubin Marine Corps Chatham Twp. Cluster II
Petty Officer 2nd Class David W. Rumpeltin Navy Ramsey V
Petty Officer 3rd Class Franky J Rzempoluch Navy North Bergen II
Sergeant Charles J. Sampson Marine Corps Jersey City Cluster V
Aviation Boatswain Mate 2nd Class Enrico Santa Navy Parsippany II
Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Santoro Navy Paramus V
Technician 4th Grade Herman J. Saporita Army Upper Montclair II
Specialist Four Jeffery M. Scerbak Army Garfield V
Specialist Four Richard J. Schimel Army New Milford V
Petty Officer 2nd Class John M. Schmidig Navy Saddle Brook V
Baker 1st Class Raymond Schroeder Navy Paterson II
Corporal Thomas J. Sears Marine Corps Washington Twp. V
Specialist Four Richard E. Semanko Army Mahwah V
Machinist Mate 1st Class Hubert Sharkey Navy Bayonne II
Seaman 1st Class John R. Simko Navy Bayonne II
Sergeant Brant R. Snell Army West Milford Cluster V
Technician 5th Grade Theodore S, Staniewicz Army Harrison II
1st Lieutenant Dominic N. Stimola Army Wyckoff Cluster V
Sergeant James Street Army Bloomfield V
Private 1st Class Edwin A. Szurka posthumous Union II
Hospitalman 1st Class James F. Telesh Navy Pompton Plains Cluster V
Sergeant 1st Class William F. Tempe Army Haskell K
Specialist Four Peter S. Tirella Army North Arlington V
Specialist Four Andrew D. Tonner Army Rutherford V
Sergeant Nicholas Tulling Air Force Rutherford V
Captain Louis T. Vagnini Air Force Fort Lee V
Specialist Four Richard M. Vanatta Army Rutherford V
Specialist Five Anthony V. Vancheri Army Paterson V
Technician 5th Grade Christian Vander Gaag Army Prospect Park II
Technician 5th Grade William V. Vecchione Army Belleville II
Corporal Anthony E. Verzi posthumous Marine Corps Rockaway II
Fireman Frank Vignola Navy West New York V
Fire Controlman 3rd Class Pasquale F. Vuolo Navy Verona II
Specialist Five Victor Wasilewski Army Bayonne V
Sergeant Robert E. Weintz Marine Corps Waldwick V
Specialist Five Richard D. Weiss Army Hasbrouck Heights V
Lieutenant Junior Grade Douglas H. West posthumous Navy W. Caldwell Cluster II
Sergeant Richard F. White Marine Corps Newark Cluster V
Corporal Clyde J. Williamson Marine Corps North Arlington V
Specialist Four Melvin Winters Army Midland Park V
Sergeant Jonathan F. Wohltmann Marine Corps Tenafly V
Petty Officer 1st Class John P Yankowski Navy Nutley II
Lieutenant Junior Grade Alfred E. Zampella Navy Jersey City II
Radioman 3rd Class Joseph A. Zarra posthumous Navy Rockaway II
Specialist Four Richard Zavinsky Army Rochelle Park V

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