Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
Morris County Veterans Affairs Officer Charles Jurgensen has been awarded an “Unsung Military Hero Service Award’’ for his long-time dedication to the needs of military veterans and their families in Morris County.
The award was presented to Jurgensen, of Florham Park, at a Veteran’s Recognition Award ceremony held this month by the Morris County Freeholders in Morristown.
Jurgensen, a U.S. Marine veteran, who served with the 2nd Marine Division in the late 1950s, and the county’s Veterans Affairs Officer since 2003, received the award from Jim Cavanaugh of Morris Township, who annually coordinates the awards presentation with state veterans’ organizations.
“Charles always goes beyond the call of duty to get the job done for veterans in this county,’’ said Cavanaugh. “I know this from many encounters with Mr. Jurgensen in his support of veterans’ organizations and individual veterans and their families that he works well beyond normal office hours and work days to in support of those who served this country.’’
Attending the presentation were the entire Morris County Freeholder Board and a contingent of veterans from the Lance/Cpl. Robert J. Slattery Detachment #206 of the Marine Corps League.
Also at the event were Barbara O’Hagan, the widow of the late Marine Col. Peter O’Hagan, a former Morris Township Mayor and Morris County Freeholder, and Mary Tracey, the widow of the late Navy veteran and long-time Morristown Postmaster Bob Tracey. O’Hagan and Tracey were previous recipients of the Unsung Hero Award.
“Charlie Jurgensen has done great work on behalf of veterans and their families in Morris County. The freeholders thank him for those efforts on behalf of all of the residents of Morris County,’’ said Freeholder John Krickus, who also is a Marine veteran.
“Many hundreds of veterans would have come up short many times had we not had the 24/7 support of Charles and his ability to zero in on the right contact or find a way to navigate to the optimum solution,’’ said George Hanley, founder of Welcome Home Vets of New Jersey.
The Morris County Veterans Services Office provides information and assistance to discharged Morris County military veterans and their families in obtaining Veterans Administration benefits and entitlements.
The Veterans Services Officer also is responsible for recording the location of graves of Morris County veterans. The office provides flags each year to decorate those graves on Memorial Day.
The award program was initiated Cavanaugh to heighten the awareness of the roles our veterans play during and after active service, and the need for communities to support our veterans. He works closely with veterans groups across the state, and across the U.S. and Canada, in searching out worthy recipients.
Two of the most recent awards went to:
Pennsylvania retired Marine Capt. James Kirschke, who lost both legs in Vietnam and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
New Jersey retired Marine Capt. George Johns, a fighter pilot who shot down 11 enemy planes during more than 250 missions during his service in World War II and the Korean War, and was awarded 4 Distinguished Flying Crosses.
For more information on Jurgensen’s Morris County Veterans Affairs Office, visit: http://www.morrishumanservices.org/veterans.asp