SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - Several local centenarian veterans, including two from Bridgewater, will be honored on Veterans Day Monday.
Being honored this year are Thomas R. (Bob) Vaucher, 102, of Bridgewater, and George McNicol, 101, of Bridgewater.
Also being honored is Louis J. Moretti, 102, of Somerville.
Somerset County Surrogate Frank Bruno will honor the three local World War II veterans, taking them to Toscanas Restaurant, on Route 28, for lunch.
"I believe saying thank you is important, but I want to share a meal with them since all of them are widowers," Bruno said. "We are losing our World War II veterans due to age. I hope that other veterans, especially those who live alone, will be contacted and honored on Veterans Day for their bravery and sacrifice."
Vaucher was a World War II Airforce combat pilot, and flew nearly 40 different aircraft types for a total of 117 combat, patrol and bombing missions. He was the first to test the B9 aircraft at 38,000 feet, and led a flyover of 526 bombers during the signing of the surrender of Japan to Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
McNicol was part of the U.S. Navy rescue mission for George H. W. Bush, who went on to serve as U.S. president.
Moretti is a U.S. Army veteran, and met with Gen. George Patton while serving in Italy.
Bruno said in a release that he is impressed with the men's upbeat and positive attitudes.
"These living heroes symbolize and represent those who were lost in foreign lands and those who never returned to their parents, spouses and loved ones," he said in the release. "They served when freedom was in the balance, so words can only go so far to express our gratitude for their service to our country."
Bruno is a member of the Sgt. John Basilone Parade Committee, and both Moretti and Vaucher have served as parade grand marshals.