Government

Roxbury Parade Leader a Veteran of Ordnance and Ordinances

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Agenda on his lap at a recent meeting, Bob Kluska watches Roxbury council from his usual front-row seat
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Placing flags on veterans' graves in Succasunna, L-R: Anita Fehsal, David Houtz, Christine Houtz, Don Banta, Bob Mederos, Len Wack and Rick Collari Credits: Caye McLaughlin
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ROXBURY, NJ – If there’s a Roxbury Mayor and Council meeting, you can safely bet Bob Kluska will be there. The Succasunna resident is one of several township citizens who make a point of keeping a scrupulous eye on the governing body.

But Kluska, a retired accountant, is not only a veteran of countless council meetings. He’s also a veteran of the type being honored on Memorial Day: His service to the nation came in the early 1950s during the Korean War.

Roxbury residents will be able to learn more about that service after Monday’s Memorial Day Parade when Kluska’s story will be told at the Roxbury Veteran’s Memorial in Horseshoe Lake Park.

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Kluska has been named the grand marshal of this year’s parade, which begins at 10 a.m. on Meeker Street in Kenvil and concludes at the Veteran’s Memorial. The story of his Korean War days will be presented by Kenvil VFW Post 2833 as part of a “ceremony of remembrance” at the memorial.

Also scheduled to speak at the ceremony is Navy Lt. Jeff McDonald, who served from 1997 to 2005 on submarines.

For those who just want to watch the parade and wave at the veterans, firefighters, police, emergency medical service personnel and others who will be marching, here’s the route: After leaving Meeker Street adjacent to Lincoln/Roosevelt School, the procession will head south on Hillside Avenue.

It will then turn left (east) on Main Street, go right (south) onto Eyland Avenue, cross Route 10 and proceed to Horseshoe Lake Park.

The route will take the parade past the cemeteries on Main Street where about 1,300 American flags were recently placed at the tombs of military veterans. Caye McLaughlin, senior vice President of the VFW post’s auxiliary, said flags were also placed at the Berkshire Valley Cemetery and at the Flanders Hillside Cemetery.

She said the flags were supplied by Ken Brenzel, the Veterans Service Officer for Morris County.

"The different veterans organizations pick the flags up and then place them on the graves for deceased veterans in preparation for Memorial Day, McLaughlin said. "This is done every year, not just in Roxbury but all over the country."

McLaughlin said she helped with the flag placement. "I feel it is an honor to be part of an effort that honors our deceased veterans who fought so that our country could be free," she said. "Also, I do it because my dad was in the Navy, my sister is in the Army, my brother is in the Marine Corp and my son is in the National Guard."

The parade organizers, the township and VFW Post 2833, are inviting the public to attend the remembrance ceremony at the parade’s conclusion.

For information, go to http://www.roxburynj.us/536/Memorial-Day-Parade.

Parade chairwoman Christine Houtz said the veteran remembrance will take place inside the Roxbury Senior Center should rain force cancelation of the parade, as it did last year. She said a go/no-go decision about the parade will be made at 8 p.m. Sunday.

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