Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak was honored for his distinguished military service earlier this month by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Flight Team with a special award known as “Strength & Courage…Then & Now.”
Andrzejczak, a U.S. Army Sergeant veteran and Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, received the award from DAV members, alongside their B-52 Bomber “Panchito,” at the Millville Wings and Wheels Air Show.
DAV, a non-profit organization, represents more than 1.2 million disabled veterans and is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling its promise to the men and women who served. The DAV Flight Team is an aviation outreach program on a nationwide air show circuit to promote the services DAV provides to injured veterans and their family members.
The award bestowed on Andrzejczak is intended as a reminder that the services and benefits provided by DAV are just as relevant now as they were when the group was founded in 1920.
“The DAV is an elite group that I have witnessed, firsthand, take great care of veterans and their families,” said Andrzejczak. “My injuries are simply one instance of many and serve as a visible reminder and tribute to the men and women who have given everything to this great country and to all of us who enjoy her freedoms. I am relieved to know that DAV is there to greet and to help facilitate a number of often confusing procedures for veterans upon their return.”
Andrzejczak first joined the Army in 2005 as infantry and was quickly deployed to Iraq in 2006 where he served for 15 months. He returned to Iraq in 2008, where, just two months into deployment, his convoy was attacked with an armor-piercing grenade while he was serving as the rear gunner. Despite bleeding from a wound that would ultimately cost him his leg, Andrzejczak made sure to check on the safety of all of his men first, only to find out he was the only one seriously injured.
He was flown to Walter Reed Hospital where he began the arduous journey to recovery. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service during his first tour of duty and while still in the hospital recovering, he was awarded the Purple Heart.
Andrzejczak has also received two Army Achievement medals, an Army Good Conduct medal, a National Service of Defense medal, a Global War on Terror medal, an Iraq Campaign Medal with a Campaign Star, an Army Service ribbon and a Combat Infantry Badge.
Since retiring as an Army Sergeant, Andrzejczak has gone on to become a member of the state General Assembly, representing the 1st legislative district, which includes towns in Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland counties.