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Wreath Laying for Local Vietnam Hero Lost 50 Years Ago Today Held in Piscataway

From left-to-right: Mr. Steve Sloss, a childhood friend of the Byrne family, retired U.S. Marine Captain & Ward 3 Piscataway Councilman Steven D. Cahn, and Mr. Bob Smith, a childhood friend of Byrne. Credits: Piscataway Township
Two members of the Rutgers University Army ROTC with former Piscataway American Legion Post 261 Commander Ron Veliky at the ceremony honoring local Vietnam War hero Jeffrey R. Byrne. Credits: Piscataway Township
left-to-right: Piscataway Mayor Brian C. Wahler, Councilman Jim Bullard, Councilman Kapil K. Shah, Byrne childhood friend Bob Smith, Councilwoman Michele Lombardi & Councilwoman Gabrielle Cahill. Credits: Piscataway Township
Two members of the Piscataway American Legion Post 261 Color Guard with a member of the Rutgers University Army ROTC at the ceremony honoring local Vietnam War hero Jeffrey R. Byrne. Credits: Piscataway Township

Childhood friends of Soldier & Family Join Mayor Brian C. Wahler, Township Councilmembers, RU Army ROTC Cadets, Local American Legion & Lake Nelson Residents Today at Park Named After Veteran

PISCATAWAY, NJ – On Feb. 18th, the 50th anniversary of the passing of Jeffrey R. Byrne, a Piscataway-raised 19-year-old who died serving in Vietnam, childhood friends of him and his family were joined by young soldiers, older veterans and other local residents at Byrne Park in the Township.

With Mayor Brian C. Wahler leading the ceremony alongside much of the Townhsip Council, a wreath laying was conducted by retired U.S. Marine Captain & Ward 3 Councilman Steven D. Cahn with Mr. Bob Smith, a childhood friend of Byrne, and Mr. Steve Sloss, a childhood friend of the Byrne family.

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“Five decades ago a young son of our Township was taken from us in combat,” Mayor Brian C. Wahler said, “and despite the passage of time, his memory is still fresh in the minds of many who continue to call Piscataway home.  It is our duty to remember him and his sacrifice.”

Byrne was a U.S. Army helicopter pilot shot down on February 18, 1968 in the Quang Nam province.  He was buried at Beverly National Cemetery.  Byrne Park on Woodland Road near Lake Nelson in Piscataway Township is named after our local hero.

Today’s ceremony also included a presentation of flags by Rutgers University Army ROTC cadets, a firing of rifles by the Piscataway American Legion Post 261 Color Guard, the lowering and raising of the park’s U.S. & POW flags by veteran & former Post Commander Ron Veliky, an invocation by Post Chaplain Tony Danielovits, and remarks by Mayor Wahler and Mr. Sloss.

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