Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

The Morris County Board of Freeholders today issued a resolution to honor Morris County Veterans Affairs Officer Charles Jurgensen, of Florham Park, who will retire on March 31 after 13 years of exemplary service to Morris County’s military veterans, their families and dependents.

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Freeholders John Cesaro, Deborah Smith, Kathy DeFillippo, with Charles Jurgensen, and Freeholders Hank Lyon Christine Myers and Doug Cabana

Jurgensen, a U.S. Marine veteran, who served with the 4th Marine Corps Reserve Division from 1959 to 1965, and has been the county’s Veterans Affairs Officer since 2003, was honored by the freeholders at their meeting this morning in Morristown, where Jurgensen was joined by many friends, colleagues, and veterans.

“Charles Jurgensen has worked tirelessly on behalf of Morris County veterans for the past 13 years, guiding them through military bureaucracy to ensure that veterans, their families and dependents got the services and benefits they deserved,’’ said Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo.

“We regret the retirement of such a dedicated person, and know that veterans probably lament his retirement even more than we do,’’ added Freeholder Doug Cabana, the lone remaining member of the board who served when Jurgensen was hired in 2003.

The Morris County Veterans Services Officer provides information and assistance to discharged Morris County military veterans and their families in obtaining Veterans Administration benefits and entitlements, among many duties. The Officer also is responsible for recording the location of graves of Morris County veterans. The officer provides flags each year to decorate those graves on Memorial Day.

Jurgensen receives the N.J. Unsung Hero Award in November, 2015

Jurgensen receives the N.J. Unsung Hero Award in November, 2015

A host of veterans yesterday lauded Jurgensen for his hard work on their behalf, noting that he never kept regular office hours when it came to their needs.

Last November, he received The Unsung Hero Award for New Jersey for his above-and-beyond efforts on behalf of some 17,000 veterans who sought his assistance in his role as veterans’ affairs officer.

“Hundreds of veterans would have come up short without 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 N.J.

Jurgensen, as is his style, deflected the praise to various veterans who attended yesterday’s award session, crediting them with having the passion and commitment to assist the county’s veterans.

“We couldn’t have done this work to help our veterans without these dedicated people,’’ said Jurgensen. “I have great confidence that our commitment to veterans in Morris County will continue in years to come.’’