SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - Somerset County Freeholder Director Mark Caliguire has announced that the freeholder board will present medals this fall to past and current Somerset County residents who served in the U.S. military in Southwest Asia between 1990 and 1995. 

The deadline to register for a medal has been extended to Sept. 1.

The presentations will be made as part of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) exhibit at the Somerset County Park Commission’s North Branch Park on Milltown Road in Bridgewater. The AVTT is a large-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.  The wall will be open to visitors at the park from 3 p.m. on Oct. 1 through 1 p.m. on Oct. 4. Visitors will be welcome around the clock. The AVTT’s appearance in Somerset County is sponsored by Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 452, which sponsored a similar event here in 2011.

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“Somerset County is honored to be able to host the Traveling Tribute for a second time,” Freeholder Director Mark Caliguire said.  “We want our veterans to know that we have not forgotten them or the sacrifices they made on behalf of our country. It will be our privilege to present medals to county residents who served in Southwest Asia as part of the opening ceremony on Oct. 1.”

Eligible veterans are asked to complete a registration form by Sept. 1.  To complete the form online, go to www.co.somerset.nj.us/medalforms.  For more information or to request that the form be mailed to you, call 908-541-5720 or email veteransmedal@co.somerset.nj.us.

To be eligible, a person must be a current or former Somerset County resident who served in the U.S. Armed Forces in support of Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm between Aug. 2, 1990, and Nov. 30, 1995, in one or more of the following areas: Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, that portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees N latitude and west of 68 degrees E longitude, and the land areas  of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates; or individuals serving in Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Syria and Jordan (including territorial airspace and waters) directly supporting combat operations between Jan. 17, 1991, and Nov. 30, 1995.

The county is accepting registrations for the Southwest Asia medal by veterans themselves, by family members on behalf of a veteran, and by relatives of deceased veterans.  The Board of Chosen Freeholders will present the medals during the Opening Ceremony on Oct. 1.  Medals also will be available at North Branch Park Oct. 1 through 4, at times to be announced closer to those dates.

The veteran or family must provide a copy of his or her Report of Separation DD214 or other proof of service.