CRANFORD, NJ - The Cranford Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 335 have announced the Grand Marshall for the Township of Cranford Memorial Day Parade. Long time Cranford resident and retired Army Master Sergeant John Abdul will lead the 2016 Parade.

Master Sergeant Abdul served our great country for 32 years in the Unites States Army earning some of the Army’s highest awards like the Legion of Merit Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Accommodation Medal to name a few. MSgt Abdul first enlisted in the Army in 1962.  Following his completion of basic training and his advanced training he was assigned to the Military Assistance and Advisor Group (MAAG), Team 21 in Pleiku Province, in the republic of Vietnam. While on this assignment as an advisor to Soldiers of the Republic of Vietnam he was also instrumental in the construction of a Special Forces Airbase North of Quang Ngai. MSgt Abdul was repeatedly cited for his tactical and technical expertise while in this hostile environment.

Upon his return from Vietnam, coupled with his experience in the field as well as his Top Secret/Crypto Clearance he was assigned to the HHC, 2nd U.S. Army Security Agency in California. Here MSgt Abdul was tasked with improving the operational readiness of the unit. After this tour in California Msgt Abdul reenlisted in 1976 in the United States Army Reserves.

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After Msgt Abdul reenlisted he completed the Army Drill Sergeant Academy. Due to his outstanding performance as a Drill Sergeant he was invited to participate in the academy as a Drill Sergeant Instructor. His senior officers time after time have referred to Msgt Abdul as their “finest NCO”.

Msgt Abdul had his first command close to home in 1990 when he was assigned to Army 78th Division in Camp Kilmer in Edison, NJ. In the role of Operations NCO he facilitated joint training exercises between federal, state and local emergency management agencies and FEMA. In this capacity of Military Liaison he was able to assist Union County OEM with the coordination of services in multiple natural disasters impacting our community.

During his 32 years of devotion to his county, family and community Msgt Abdul has always demonstrated the highest level of commitment to his soldiers who served under his leadership as well as unwavering support for the commands and commanders he served under. Please join us in congratulating our long time town resident, life member our VFW Post 335 as well as a Distinguished Soldier on Memorial Day.