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Randolph Pays Tribute to Community’s Hometown Heroes

Posted: October 15, 2021

Sfc. Bob Brembs
Hometowen hero Sfc. Bob Brembs.

On Saturday, October 9, 2021, Randolph Township VFW Post 7333 hosted the inaugural Hometown Heroes Banners Dedication in Veterans Community Park.

More than 60 attendees filled the pavilion for a heartfelt ceremony honoring those who have served, are currently serving, or have given their life in service in the United States Armed Forces. A total of fifteen veterans received banner dedications on light poles throughout the park.

Speakers for the ceremony included Senator Anthony Bucco, Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, Mayor Mark Forstenhausler, program co-chair Felicia Smith and several VFW members.

Felicia Smith, whose son is currently on active duty with the United States Navy, says the idea for Hometown Heroes came to her when she was driving through a nearby town and saw banners erected honoring their local heroes. As a military mom, she was touched by this gesture and thought what better way to honor our veterans and the sacrifices they have made. She contacted Mayor Mark Forstenhausler, who supported the idea, and a planning committee was soon formed.

The 2021 Randolph Hometown Heroes:

  • Sfc. Bob Brembs, US Army, 1951-1955, Korean War
  • Cpl. Emerson Crooks, US Marine Corps, 1968-1972, Vietnam War
  • Sgt. Dan Gaestel, US Army 1968-1969, Vietnam War
  • 2nd Lt. Erik Jensen, US Air Force, Active Duty, Global War on Terror
  • Sgt. Peter Knothe, US Army, 1942-1946, WWII
  • Spec. 4 Bill Menzel, US Army, 1964-1967, Vietnam War
  • Sgt. Scott Montanio, US Marine Corps, 2002-2006, Global War on Terror
  • Lt. Colonel Bill O’Brien, US Army, 1954-2000, Vietnam War
  • Sgt. Matthias Portman,US Army, 2013-2021, Global War on Terror
  • Spec. 4 Richard Reck, US Army, 1967-1968, Korea DMZ
  • E4 Victor Reck, US Army, 1943-1946, WWII
  • Sgt. John Reilly, US Army, 1968-1970, Vietnam War
  • Sgt. Angel Soto, US Marine Corps, 1962-1968, Vietnam War
  • Sgt. Anthony Sales, US Marine Corps, 2016-2021, Global War on Terror
  • Sgt. Jack Sassaman, US Army, 1966-1968, Vietnam War

Randolph Township VFW Post 7333 gratefully thanks the banner sponsors, including John Herold Jewelers, Rosie’s Trattoria, NJ Pest Control and Acme for their financial support of the program and the township’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department for their assistance with the installation of the banners in the park.

To submit an honoree for 2022, complete this form  and e-mail it to Bill Menzel at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this e-mail address).