World War II veterans honored in Toms River
Members of our "Greatest Generation," World War II veterans still alive and well in Ocean County, are given recognition for their service to our nation in Toms River by Shore Congressman Tom MacArthur.
"Our country was indispensable, and literally under God," MacArthur told the assemblage at the township American Legion post on Church Road, "and with God's help, saved the world from fascism, from tyranny, and from evil."
In the video accompanying this brief, MacArthur spoke highly of their service to our nation and their roles in the Allies' victory over the Axis powers.
"You are apart of an unbroken chain of patriots, that has served this nation honorably," said MacArthur.
He added that more needs to be done to help our military to continue honoring those who serve, which is why he places a great deal of importance on a substantial defense authorization package.
MacArthur is among those who seeks to reverse Pentagon budget cuts that he believes have undercut the ability of the U.S. to remain a premier global fighting force.
"It provides a pay raise for our troops, the equipment, the training, all the things they need to be able to go into battle and have lower risks," said MacArthur
MacArthur also mentioned the 'Hire More Heroes' act, one of the first measures he co-sponsored in Congress, which is now law. It gives small businesses and incentive to hire veterans.
Robert "Bob" Jones of Manahawkin, now 90, addressed the crowd at the Congressman's behest.
Enlisting in the Navy at 17, Jones spent four years in active duty and was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries he sustained when an incendiary device sank his destroyer at sea.
"The bomb exploded and ripped out all the seems under the ship," said Jones.
While he scrambled to abandon ship, another salvo threw him overboard, and metal shrapnel became lodged in his stomach.
"I don't know how long I was unconscious," explained Jones. "Somebody had to get me out of there fast or I would have drowned."
"I ended up in an Army hospital, but the Navy lost track of me," recalls Jones. "Very briefly I was M.I.A."
After the war, the 6'5 veteran was recruited for basketball at American University in Washington, D.C., where he earned a degree.