WW2 Vet Awarded Bronze Star Posthumously
A World War II veteran and long time shore resident, Russell T. Olivadotti get’s awarded the Bronze Star posthumously by Congressman Frank Pallone.
A request for the medal for 1st Sergeant Olivadotti was submitted to the Congressman’s office by Olivadotti’s sister Sandra Rubino. She says though he qualified for the award, like many service men of that era, Olivadotti didn’t talk about his time in combat.
“They never talked about the war because everybody was in it and they lost so many buddy’s over there that they felt they were the lucky ones that came home.”
Rubino says throughout his life, even when prompted by Brookdale Community College to be a speaker, Olivadotti never was able to do it.
The process to get Russell Olivadotti the recognition he deserved began when he mentioned to his
sister that something came out in 1947 saying he was awarded the Bronze Star, however like most things regarding World War II Rubino says he was vague.
Rubino reached out to Congressman Pallone’s office, which cleared it with the Army to authenticate
that Mr. Olivadotti did in fact earn the Bronze Star. Confusion over the original spelling of Mr. Olivadotti’s name was one of the factors that contributed to the award not being given originally.
Rubino notes that though she went through the process of making sure her brother got the award he has earned, many of those who served had no idea they were even entitled to any kind of recognition.
“They didn’t know what a 201 file was, they didn’t they were eligible for the medals. There was nobody there in the field to say ‘This guy saved that one’s life’ or that somebody died in front of them and they tried to help them. There was nobody to record that because there were thousands there. And they never thought about it when they got back here.”
She adds because of that, a lot of the information many of these men had never got recorded and they missed out on a lot of the valor and the medals they should have had.
However, throughout everything however, Rubino remembers the kindness and generosity her brother showed in all aspects of his life.
Russell Olivadotti was one of four brothers, and Rubino remembers him as always being family oriented.
“If you needed anything regardless of what his situation was he tried to do it.”
Olivadotti’s service was equally as impressive in civilian life. He was a member of the Shore Regional High School Board of Education since 1970, and was the first inductee in the Shore Regional Hall of Fame. He was also a long time member of the Monmouth Vocational School Board and served as its Vice President.
Rubino says she was told that Olivadotti has the distinction of being the longest serving Board of Education member in the State.