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Veterans Sought for September Awards Ceremony in Toms River

Know a military veteran who deserves recognition? Are you one? The opportunity is about to arrive.

Service Medals (NJ Dept. of Military & Veterans Affairs)
Service Medals (NJ Dept. of Military & Veterans Affairs)

The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is accepting nominations for its Veterans Medal Ceremony, September 16 in Toms River.

The event will be hosted by the George P. Vanderveer American Legion Post 129, 2025 Church Road, at 11 AM.

Medals are awarded in five categories:

New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded to New Jersey residents or one who was a resident at the time of entry into military service or who has been a resident of NJ for at least 20 tears in the aggregate. Criteria: Veteran must have received an Honorable Discharge, and served in a combat theater while on active duty during wartime or National Emergency. Recipients whose service was recognized by the award of a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal or equivalent receive the NJ DSM with a Silver Oak Leaf Cluster. A “Posthumous” award is authorized.

New Jersey Meritorious Service Medal
Presented to those combat veterans who were not New Jersey residents when they entered the military service, but who are current residents of New Jersey and have resided in the state for the previous five years. Criteria is the same as the DSM but there is no Oak Leaf Cluster for the MSM. Veteran must have received an Honorable Discharge and a “Posthumous” award is authorized.

New Jersey Korean Service Medal
Presented for military service in Korea, Japan, or the contiguous waters or airspace on or after June 23, 1950 and on or before January 31, 1955. Criteria: Must be a current resident of New Jersey, received an Honorable Discharge and have been attached to or served for one or more days with an organization participating in or directly supporting military operations; or attached to or served for one or more days aboard a US Naval vessel directly supporting military operations; or – participated as a crew member in one or more aerial flights into airspace above Korea or contiguous areas directly supporting military operations; or – served on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days in Korea or contiguous areas, except that this time limit may be waived for persons participating in actual combat operations. A “Posthumous” award is authorized.

New Jersey Vietnam Service Medal
Presented for military service in the South East Asia Theater of Operations from 1960 to 1975. Must be a current resident of New Jersey and received an Honorable Discharge and served on active duty in any branch of the armed forces of the United States in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, or the contiguous waters or airspace thereof on or after December 31, 1960 and on or before May 7, 1975. The same “Criteria” applies as with the New Jersey Korean Service Medal and a “Posthumous” award is authorized.

New Jersey POW-MIA Medal
Presented for individuals who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Armed Forces in a combat theater of operations during time of war or emergency, was taken prisoner and held captive and/or listed as missing in action. Criteria: Must be a current resident of New Jersey, received an Honorable Discharge, and must have served in a combat theater and was officially listed as a prisoner of war or missing in action by the Department of Defense. A “Posthumous” award is authorized.

Applications are required, and can be found at the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs web page. Written requests should include WD Form 53 or DD Form 214 (Separation from Active Duty), attesting to an honorable discharge.

Send requests via overland mail to:

NJ Dept of Military and Veterans Affairs
ATTN: DVS-VBB(Medals)
PO Box 340
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

You can also learn more through the Veterans’ Service Officer at the James J. Howard VA Clinic in Brick Township (732-840-3033), or through the Benefit Hotline (888-8NJ-VETS).

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