Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The Morris County Freeholders honored 12 veterans March 9 for their service to our nation by presenting each of them with the Morris County Distinguished Military Service Medal.

The freeholders presented medals to Vietnam-era veterans John Amicucci of Rockaway; David Dawes of Denville; and Thomas J. Mitchell and David S. Ragucci of Morristown.

Post-Vietnam-era veterans receiving medals will be Giancarlo Bruzzese and Arthur E. Tokle of Rockaway; Retired Brigadier General William J. Marshall the Third of Lake Hopatcong; William E. O’Brien and Adrian V. Rivas of Dover; Moyses Ramirez of Wharton; and Wilmer A. Valbuema of Morristown.

A medal was posthumously awarded by the freeholders to World War II veteran Richard L. Donnelly of Butler. His medal was accepted by his son, Brian.

“The many freedoms we treasure and continue to defend today were won over the years by the courageous actions of many Americans like you,” Freeholder Director William Chegwidden told the veterans. “We owe all of you an enormous gratitude.”

Since the freeholders began honoring Morris County veterans in 2000, more than 9,000 medals have been presented to veterans or to their family members.

Eligibility requirements for receiving a Distinguished Military Service Medal include having served on active duty, not for training, during periods that have been designated by Department of Veterans Affairs and for which a veteran is eligible for battle pins.

The individual may be a current or former Morris County resident, but did not have to live in the county during his or her time of active duty. A veteran must have received an honorable discharge, and discharge papers will be required for proof of service.

More information about the program may be obtained by contacting the Morris County Veterans Service Office at 973-285-6866.