Vets Meet Jets in Florham Park


FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Admittedly, it doesn’t happen often.  Certainly, it doesn’t happen enough.  But when do 150 Viet Nam Veterans, representing all veterans organizations, join together to remember, to commemorate and to enjoy the company of their comrades?

The New York Jets Football organization apparently understood that. So on Sunday Dec. 4, the NY Jets invited 150 Viet Nam Veterans to their practice facility in Florham Park.  The occasion was to be honored with a 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemorative pin and to simply enjoy a terrific “Welcome Home” experience.

A buffet breakfast led the morning off, which followed a “Posting of the Colors” by the Cranford NJ VFW Post #335’s Color Guard and a patriotic Pledge of Allegiance by the group.  “Amazing Grace” was played meticulously by the 12 member Union County Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Corp. adding a significant degree of solemnity to the event.  In keeping with that solemnity and tradition,  VFW Post #335 also provided a proper MIA-POW table and empty chair in memory of those missing comrades.

Sign Up for E-News

The very first featured speaker, Medal of Honor recipient Jack Jacobs was welcomed with a two minute standing round of applause.  Mr. Jacobs saw his meritorious action in Kien Phong Province in 1968 while serving as an assistant battalion adviser to a South Vietnamese army unit.  His moving remarks opened humorously on his lack of height, “which saved my life”, and later on the patriotic aspect of being a Vietnam Veteran and the need to be proud of the experience.

Following Mr. Jacobs remarks, Major General Troy Kok head of the 99th Regional Support Command at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, talked emotionally on the sacrifices that we as veterans have made and the positive consequences of our military experiences.  Both speeches were met with tumultuous applause from a grateful audience of men and women Vets.

Following the speeches, a few words of thanks from the General Manager of the NY Jets, Michael Maccagnan were said and commemorative pins were handed out with a handshake and sincere “thank you” to each and every Vietnam Veteran in attendance.  Afterwards all were invited to watch a brief practice on the outside practice turf by the Jets squad followed by a meet and greet autograph session with the players.

But the morning was really more than that.

“I met a guy I served with in the 173rd Airborne, that I haven’t seen in 45 years” said Viet Nam Vet Billy Lueddeke of Kenilworth.  “Just that, seeing him again made it an unbelievable day for me and brought back memories I haven’t thought of in years”.  Another Vet talked of the special emotions he felt just being in the presence of so many who shared his experiences, “just chatting with the guys at the table about where they were and what they did made it for me, I was truly grateful for this day”, said Mike Chmiel, Army Vet, of Cranford.

 A great deal of socializing certainly took place during the breakfast.  The joint comradery, the coming together of those who lived  “Nam” and made it back to the “World”, while remembering those souls who did not, made this a special experience and a remarkable day.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Hanover/Florham Park

Florham Park Prepares for the Fourth

Its time for one of Florham Park's shining moments. The Fourth of July parade is not only the kick of to summer, it continues the legacy of being among the oldest Independence day celebrations in New Jersey. this year the festivities are set and the schedule of events is as follows;

9:00am  Flag raising ceremony at the Florham Park Fire House

9:30am  Parade begins on ...

Important Message for Florham Park Residents Regarding the Fourth of July

Important July 4th Celebration Reminder - Please be advised in the interest of safety and security, the entire parade route will be CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC beginning at 8:30am on July 4, 2018. This will impact residents who live along the parade route and all of the side streets that connect to the parade route. (Please see the map attached to this post)

Please ensure that you plan accordingly ...

Freeholders Approve 21 Historic Preservation Grants Including Florham Park and Hanover Township Properties

July 16, 2018

The Morris County Board of Freeholders unanimously approved $2.2 million in county historic preservation grants to be financed by the county’s 2018 Preservation Trust Fund to help preserve, restore, or protect historic sites in 16 towns across Morris County.

The vote was taken at the Freeholder Board’s meeting held in Mount Olive, which will get $198 000 in construction ...

Belmar Parasail: Soar Into Summer with a High-Flying Adventure Along the Beachfront

July 12, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — As Belmar finally basks in picture-perfect weather, it may be time to check off a summer activity on your bucket list. And for many, parasailing is one of those “must-do” experiences.

At Belmar Parasail, the season is in full swing, offering boat trips from the Belmar Manutti Marina to the beachfront where passengers are lifted 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean ...

New Jersey Average Gas Prrice Down Slightly; Record Holiday Travel Week Underway

Florham Park, N.J.- The average price at the pump in New Jersey is $2.88 today, one cent cheaper than last week ($2.89), according to AAA Northeast’s weekly survey of fuel prices. Today’s average price is 13 cents cheaper than one month ago ($3.01), but 60 cents higher than it was on July 2, 2017 ($2.28).


AAA’s July 2nd survey of ...

LBI Summer Soiree "Boardwalk Nights" on Friday, August 10 at the Sea Shell Resort and Beach Club to Benefit David's Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation

BEACH HAVEN - On August 10, the inaugural LBI Summer Soiree “Boardwalk Nights” (formerly Island Gala) will take  to the breathtaking Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club on Friday, August 10 to benefit David's Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation.

The LBI Summer Soiree is brought to you by key supporting company D. Finelli Construction. David Finelli was ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, July 17, 6:00 PM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Education Giving Back Law & Justice

Tue, July 17, 7:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Organically Yours: a wellness experience with ...


Tue, July 24, 7:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Meet the Author: Lucy Tan

Arts & Entertainment

17 Fascinating Facts About Rutgers Athletics

July 10, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For all the critics of the athletics program at New Jersey’s largest public university, there are more than a dozen reasons to cheer for successes of the sports programs and teams on the playing fields, in classrooms and beyond.

Here are 17 on the field and off the field things this took place this past academic year at Rutgers University:

1. Rutgers had four ...


Beverly Jean (Charlton) Weimar, of Ship Bottom, and Florham Park, New Jersey passed away on March ...
Read more

Education: A Bedrock of Democracy, Civic Engagement and Economic Prosperity

July 5, 2018

More than 240 years ago, our nation’s founders envisioned a country where individuals could forge their own destinies and not be constrained by the circumstances of birth. The essential concept was that people could govern themselves and participate in democracy, or what Benjamin Franklin and others called “a great experiment.” The vision was bold and has flourished as the ...

Kessler Foundation Seeks Volunteers for Important Breast Cancer Study

July 12, 2018

Researchers at Kessler Foundation in West Orange, NJ are studying new ways of combating breast cancer-related weakness & fatigue. These symptoms can diminish quality of life & often last long after treatment has ended. If you are a woman aged 40-75, who was diagnosed with breast cancer within the past 10 years*, you may qualify for this important research study.

We are ...