BRIDGEWATER, NJ - On Nov. 21, the Linkages Department (funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families), the Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club and staff and students at Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School (SCVTHS) welcomed a group of United States of America Veterans and four Gold Star Mothers to their fourth annual event entitled, “An Attitude of Gratitude.” 

Organized by Linkages staff members Elaine Howe and Bridget Donovan, the SCVTHS Friends of Rachel Club and social studies instructor and Army Veteran Ed M. Graf, students were able to create thank you cards for and interact with the group of veterans and four Gold Star Mothers at the event. 

In addition to the event, students from the Culinary Arts program created and served a meal for the veterans in the TradeWins restaurant.  Veterans in attendance were from various posts including the Connecticut Farms American Legion Post 35 in Union and the VFW Kelly Post 2433 Union.  The veterans served in different branches of the military and in different wars. 

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Earlier in November at the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Teacher’s Convention in Atlantic City, Graf was presented with a certificate from the NJEA recognizing his efforts for all the work he does with veterans and the annual Proud to be an American Day. 

“This Attitude of Gratitude event is very important for our veterans.” Graf said.  “Creating relationships between students and veterans is beneficial to all involved.”  Mr. Ed M. Graf and his students are currently hard at work preparing for the annual Proud to be an American Day held in May.

For more information contact James Strickhart at 908-526-8900, ext. 7169 or