Posted Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Freeholders Honor VeteransThe Morris County Freeholders presented Morris County Distinguished Military Service Medals to 11 county veterans March 13 in recognition of their military service.

The medals were presented during a ceremony in Morristown, during which Freeholder Director Thomas Mastrangelo thanked the veterans, on behalf of all Morris County citizens, for their service.

“Without question, we owe all of you an enormous gratitude,” Mastrangelo told the recipients. “The freeholders and all of the residents of Morris County are extremely grateful for your patriotism, your service and your devotion to our nation.”

Those receiving medals were Army veterans Edward Matera of East Hanover; Chris Secula of Lake Hopatcong; Vanessa Vichengrad of Kenvil; Edwin Vega of Morris Plains; and Paul DeMeo and his wife, Carol DeMeo of Rockaway.

Navy veteran Robert DeBlasi of Rockaway and Marine veterans George Johns of Morristown; Anthony J. Serra of Riverdale; and William Koch Jr. of Rockaway; also received medals as did Coast Guard veteran Paul Mueller of Hewitt.

The freeholders began the recognition program in 1999, and have since presented more than 9,000 medals to veterans who have served during conflicts from World War II to today’s war against terrorism, or to their families.

To be eligible, a veteran 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 are required.

Veterans or their family members must register with the Morris County Department of Human Services at 973-285-6866.