EAST ORANGE, NJ — State veterans affairs officials recently recognized 10 area veterans for their service during a ceremony at Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest, based in East Orange, which provides job-training programs and services for people with disabilities, veterans, immigrants and refugees.
Joseph Bucco, the state supervisor of Veterans Services in the state Department of Military & Veterans Affairs, presented the New Jersey Meritorious Service Medal to several local veterans who participate in JVS programs, as a way of recognizing their sacrifices to the nation. Honored veterans include were Lee Barnett, of South Orange; Joe Formola, of Colonia; James Gibbs, of Irvington; Ronald Green, of Jersey City; Timothy King, of Newark; Thomas Smith, of Newark; Clarence Martin, of Orange; Dennis Spruill, of Plainfield; Samantha S. Washington, an aide to U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. based in Newark; and Howard Woodard, Newark. Together, they represent virtually every branch of the military.
The ceremony occurred in the week after Veterans Day, when Sen. Cory Booker recognized JVS for its work on behalf of veterans. Booker, in a letter to JVS veterans case manager Ava Reinfeld, wrote: “This Veterans Day, it is an honor to extend my gratitude for the selfless service and sacrifice that you and your members have given to our nation.”
JVS’ “commitment to our service members has benefited countless soldiers, veterans and their families,” Booker said. “Thank you for your continuous support for those who have given so much to our nation.”
JVS’ Healthcare Case Management for Veterans program is funded by the Healthcare Foundation of NJ.