State honors area veterans for their service

Photo Courtesy of JVS of MetroWest NJ
Front row, from left, are JVS health care case manager for veterans Ava Reinfeld; veterans Howard Woodard, Dennis Spruill and Clarence Martin; and JVS Director of Community Employment Services Lisa Simmons. Back row, from left, are veteran James Gibbs; JVS health care case manager for veterans Wilfredo Rodriguez; veterans Joseph Formola, Ronald Green, Timothy King and Thomas Smith; Robert Hoberman from the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; JVS Board President Michael Goldberg; veteran Samantha Washington; Joe Bucco of the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs of NJ; JVS Executive Director Michael Andreas; and JVS Senior Program Director Rebecca Shulman.

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.