SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Although the march along Park Ave. in Scotch Plains and Martine Ave. in Fanwood won't take place on Memorial Day 2020, the parade committee is honoring two grand marshals for this year:
Alphonse Fantini, who proudly says he is "100 and a half years old," was born on October 8, 1919, Montazzoli, Italy, and has been a resident of Scotch Plains for 92 years since coming to the U.S. in 1928 from at the age of 9.
During WWII, Alphonse Fantini was stationed at Cape May and in Delaware, where he was a Coast Artillery Army sergeant. Later, he was stationed in the Pacific and would have participated in an invasion of Japan, a mission that was aborted once Japan surrendered following the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His awards include the American Defense Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and Victory Medal. (See video below.)
Upon his return to civilian life, Mr. Fantini worked as a welder for 55 years at Hosokowa Micron Powder Systems. He was married for 71 years to Donna Fantini, who died on August 4, 2019. Donna and Alphonse were blessed with three children (Claire, Ronald, and Mary Ann), four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
Major Patrick Moore of Fanwood commissioned into the US Army as an Infantry Officer in 2007 through Officer Candidate School. Upon completion of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, then Second Lieutenant Moore deployed as a platoon leader to Iraq in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2008 through 2009 with the 2nd Battalion, 113th Infantry Regiment, New Jersey Army National Guard. After this deployment he continued to serve in various leadership and staff positions as a traditional drilling Guardsman while maintaining civilian employment in New York City.
Promoted to Captain, he assumed command of Company A, 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry and led it through its two-year mobilization and deployment to Bahrain in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve. After returning to his civilian position and assisting the City and State of New York and the State of Louisiana in disaster recovery, he accepted a call to active duty as an Active Guard and Reserve Officer assigned to the US Army Reserve where he deployed as the Assistant Operations Officer (A/S3) to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve with the 244th Combat Aviation Brigade based at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, where he has remained on active duty.
Currently assigned as the Plans and Exercise Officer in Charge at 3rd Brigade, 78th “Lightning” Division, Major Moore is responsible for developing training and simulations capabilities for Army Reserve battalions and above in order to prepare commanders and staffs for their missions and deployments. Since 2008, Major Moore has been deployed overseas in excess of 30 months and after returning from Iraq in late January, looks forward to some downtime with his family. (See second video below.)
Major Moore's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with "C" device for Combat, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and campaign medals for Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Inherent Resolve. He has been a resident of Fanwood since 2009 with his wife, Michele, and their 9-year-old twins, Reland and Spencer, who are in the third grade. (See third and fourth videos below.)
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