DeAngelo Touts New Jersey’s First Parade to Welcome Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans Home

(HAMILTON) – To honor and praise the sacrifice of service members returning from the war in Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom) and the war in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom), central jersey veterans have organized “Hamilton’s Welcome Home Veterans Parade” to take place on the Fourth of July next month. The parade will be the first parade in New Jersey solely dedicated to welcoming hometown veterans from these missions and will be only the eighth of its kind across the country.
Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton) today touted the parade as a tremendous way for the community to thank armed forces members for their service and dedication to protecting our nation’s security in dangerous areas of conflict.
“As we celebrate the birth date of our country, the Welcome Home Veterans Parade will honor the men and women who have traveled across the globe and risked their lives to protect and defend the ideals that our country was founded on centuries ago,” said DeAngelo, who serves as a member of the New Jersey Council on Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs. “While a parade is just a small token of gratitude for these veterans, I encourage service members and New Jerseyans from all corners of our state to join in these festivities to pay tribute to our military.”
There are currently approximately 750 members of the military who will be marching in the parade.
“Hamilton’s Welcome Home Veterans Parade” will kick-off at 9:30 am on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at Grice Middle School located at 901 White Horse Hamilton Rd, Hamilton, NJ and will travel just over one mile through the Kuser Road entrance to Veterans Park.
Veterans who wish to participate in the parade should contact Vice Commander Jeffrey Bock at VFW Post 3535 (609) 890-9809. At the end of the parade, veterans will receive gifts provided by Operation Gratitude, an organization that annually sends care package to service members deployed to hostile regions and their families as well as wounded warriors.
There also will be representatives of veterans and military support organizations at stations set up in Veterans Park to provide information on programs and services for families of active duty service members and veterans. Space is still available for organizations that would like to participate.
Parade organizers also are encouraging musical groups such as marching bands or Fife and Drum corps to participate in the parade. Such groups can contact Assemblyman DeAngelo’s office at (609) 631-7501 or AsmDeAngelo@njleg.org in advance if they would like to march in the parade.