MILITARY & VETERANS AFFAIRS
(28 Oct., 2013)
Veterans To Be Honored At Bergen Town Center
WHO: Col. Mark Piterski, commander, 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team along with Raymond L. Zawacki, the Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs will present the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal and other state military awards to approximately 19 Veterans, mostly from Bergen and Hudson counties.
WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 11 a.m.
WHERE: Bergen Town Center Mall, Century 21 Court, Paramus, NJ 07652
THE STORY: This ceremony marks the start of a three-day visit of the veterans outreach kiosk from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. During this outreach event, veterans and their family members can learn more about benefits or entitlements they could be eligible to receive.
The ‘One Mall a Month’ schedule for the Veterans Outreach Program is an effort by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to talk one-on-one with veterans or their family members about the wide variety of state and federal veterans benefits.
Last year, only 10 percent of our nation’s veterans receive compensation from the Veterans Administration (VA) for a service-connected disability. Here in New Jersey that number was only eight percent. With more than 400,000 Veterans in the Garden State, thousands of veterans may not be receiving compensation. The Veterans Outreach Program wants to find these veterans and assist them in filing their claims if they choose to do so.
The N.J. Distinguished Service Medal (NJ DSM) was originally issued in 1858 for those who distinguished themselves in the New Jersey Militia, but was used infrequently until re-authorized by Governor Kean in 1988. The N.J. DSM was then authorized for that purpose. It is New Jersey’s highest military award. Since its re-authorization in 1988, more than 30,000 medals have been awarded to combat veterans from New Jersey.
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. 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 or for additional benefits information call 1-888-8NJ-VETS (1-888-865-8387) to request an application.
Veterans invited to Medal Ceremony at Bergen Town Center Mall are: