Morris County Observes Veterans Day 2023

Veterans Day - soldiers in silhouette against an American flag


The Morris County Board of County Commissioners presented Morris County Distinguished Military Service Medals to seven veterans on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 during their annual Veterans Day Observance ceremony, where state and federal representatives also issued honors to the former service members.

Attendees of Ceremony in a line

Veteran accepting medal

Veteran accepting medal

Veterans Receiving Awards

Veterans Who Publicly Accepted Medals

Frank C. Cestone, Denville (Deceased)

Cestone, Frank photo.jpg The late Frank Canie Cestone of Denville served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War from 1950 until 1954.

Mr. Cestone specialized in metal smithing and rigging and worked aboard a blimp, Airship Squadron Three, one of the Navy's "lighter-than-air" units. He received the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

He went on to work as a facilities manager at Ohaus Scale Co. in Florham Park until retirement and worked in real estate thereafter.  He enjoyed playing golf and was a member of the Peace Pipe Country Club in Denville.  He was a longtime member of the Indian Lake Community Club and Denville American Legion Post #390.

Mr. Cestone died in 2013 at age 84. He and his late wife, Theodocia, were proud parents of three children, Darla, Frank, and Alan, and four grandchildren.



Jesse William Christmas, Hanover Township

Air Force.jpeg Jesse William Christmas of Hanover Township is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served from August 2011 to September 2014 during the Global War on Terror.

A cyber transport systems specialist, he was awarded the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Force Expeditionary Service Medal with Gold Border and Air Force Service Ribbon.

Following his military career, he earned a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity management and policy. He has worked at Salient Federal Solutions, Iron Bow Technologies in defense contracting and is currently working as a Department of Defense civilian.  His interests include economics and finance.



Javier Colon, Town of Boonton

Army.jpeg Javier Colon of Boonton, a veteran of the U.S. Army, has been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq for the Global War on Terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom during the 12 years he has served with the National Guard. He was called up to serve an additional eight months under President Proclamation during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is still subject to active recall.

He is the recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon and Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device.

He completed courses in Basic Leadership, Senior Leadership and Advanced Leadership and is HAZMAT certified.

Following his career on active duty, he transferred his training into the civilian sector where he serves in the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.



Michael N. Cutter, Morristown

Army.jpeg Michael N. Cutter served with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, where he was on active duty from 1962 to 1965, before transferring to the Reserves and continuing to serve until 1968. This Vietnam veteran distinguished himself by earning the Marksman for Carbine & M-1 Rifle and Sharpshooter for Rifle M-14.

Following his military service, he pursued studies in computer technology, launching a career spanning more than four decades working with industry giants Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard. 

He currently serves as the president of Morristown Meals on Wheels. He assisted with upgrading the computer infrastructure for the Morris Plains School District.

Mr. Cutter grew up in Morristown and currently resides in Morris Plains. Married for 42 years, he is the proud father of three children and the grandfather of two grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys bowling and golfing, especially participating with the VFW Annual Morris Plains Golf outing. This veteran is a die-hard Yankees fan!




Kimberly S. Dean, Chester Township

Army.jpeg Kimberly S. Dean of Chester Township served in the U.S. Army from April 1998 until her retirement in July 2023. She is a veteran of the Global War on Terrorism, having served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.  

During her military service, Ms. Dean received the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal 10LC, and the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

 She held numerous high-level roles in the U.S. Army including serving as the first detachment commander medical service officer for the U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General; officer in charge of a Medical Recruiting Command; action operations officer for the Warrior Transition Command; acting division surgeon in a training command; field medical officer; executive officer for a U.S. Army Field Medical Hospital; headquarters detachment commander of MC BN Multifunctional Command; health services administration officer and assistant professor of military science and recruiter. 

Today, she is known as Dr. Kimberly Dean after earning a bachelor's degree in health services administration from the University of Detroit, a master's degree in education, leadership, administration and supervision from University of Cambridge in England, and a doctorate in education leadership, administration and supervision from Virginia State University.

In her personal life, Dr. Dean holds the role of First Lady as the senior pastor's wife at the Visions of God and Family Worship Church. She embraces her involvement in religious duties and is a devoted wife and mother to five children.

This veteran, now retired, has turned her to educational administration. She aspires to be a beacon of guidance and inspiration for the youth of the community. 



Michael J. dePierro, Parsippany Troy-Hills Township

dePierro, Michael.jpg Michael J. dePierro served with the U.S. Air Force from October 1959 to August 1962 during the Vietnam War era. His service included training Army Green Berets, Navy Seals and NATO Special Forces in Single Sideband Communications before their units went into combat in Vietnam. Single Sideband was the primary communications system in Vietnam: Ground-to-Ground, Ground-to-Air, and Ground-to-Sea were all Single Sideband.

Mr. dePierro, who was born in New Rochelle, N.Y. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10184, a life member of the American Legion Post 249 and he participates in “Americanism” activities and scholarship awards in those organizations.

Married to his wife Dee for the past 63 years, Mr. dePierro earned an electrical engineering degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and moved to Parsippany-Troy Hills Township in 1965 when he began his career with Bell Telephone Laboratories. He worked with New Jersey Bell Telephone Company, which later became Bell Atlantic and then Verizon, and was named “Outstanding Citizen of the Year” in 1979. He retired after 30 years of service from the “Bell System” as a systems manager. He then worked for the State of New Jersey as manager of telecommunications billing in Trenton, retiring in 2001.

In Parsippany, he has served for more than 40 years on the Parsippany Township Council, serving six years prior to that on the township Board of Education. Mr. dePierro has served as president and vice president of the Township Council at various times during his 10 terms. He has been a member of the township planning board, open space committee among other committees.

He served as president of the Morris County League of Municipalities (1990-91) and as a director (1985-97). He is the only Parsippany official to be inducted into the New Jersey State League of Municipalities “Elected Officials Hall of Fame.”

Mr. dePierro was the co-founder and first president of the Township Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council (1977-96), later renamed to the Municipal Alliance Committee. He was a charter member and director of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce (1988-97).

Mr. dePierro is also affiliated with several civil and professional organizations. He is a member of the National Notary Association, the Association of Government Accountants, the Fairleigh Dickinson Alumni Association, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and Phi Beta Gamma (a National Executive Honor Society). Mr. dePierro has been listed in Who’s Who in New Jersey and numerous listings in Who’s Who in Technology. He has received numerous awards and honors over the years, including the Marquis “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2017.



Kevin M. Enriquez, Riverdale

Marines.jpeg Kevin M. Enriquez of Riverdale served in the Marines from September 2012 until September 2016.

He served in the Global War on Terrorism and is the recipient of the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, a Letter of Appreciation, and the Marksman Rifle Qualification Badge.

He earned a bachelor’s degree and M.B.A. in accounting at Felician University, where he also received a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Success from the Alumni Board in gratitude for his service as President of the Student Veteran Association from 2017-2020.

He is currently preparing for his CPA exam and plans to pursue a career as a financial analyst and tax accountant.

A proud father, he enjoys spending time with his year-old daughter. He is a New York Giants fan and an active runner who participates in 5Ks and half-marathons.



Adam J. Gragnani, Parsippany Troy-Hills Township (Deceased)

GragnaniAdamJ.jpeg Adam J. Gragnani served with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War era after enlisting in February 1962. Mr. Gragnani was stationed at Floyd Bennet Field in southeast Brooklyn, N.Y., along the shore of Jamaica Bay, until he was honorably discharged in October 1966.

He passed on Dec. 17, 2022.

Mr. Gragnani was born Sept. 29, 1938, in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest of five children.  He was president of Loris Data Corp., a computer consulting firm.

Mr. Gragnani was active in the Parsippany Republican Party and served as a committeeman. His wife of 59 years, Lorretta Gragnani, is president of the Parsippany Troy-Hills Township Council, where she has served on the board for two consecutive terms.

Mr. Gragnani, in his early years, enjoyed being a Catholic Youth Organization basketball coach at St. Peter's Church in Parsippany. He was an avid golfer and respected member of the Knoll Country Club in Parsippany for nearly 35 years. For thirty of those, his foursome enjoyed a standing 7:32 a.m. start time each Saturday morning.

He also was a member of The Sons of Italy, the 200 Club and served as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Ann Church, where he was a parishioner for 30 years.

He and his wife Loretta raised two sons, Andrew and Peter Gragnani.


John “Jack” F. Haren, Morris Plains

Army.jpeg John “Jack” F. Haren of Morris Plains served with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War from April 1970 to June 1975. He was a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps and is the recipient of the Army Commendation Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Fordham University and following his military service, he attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He worked as a certified public accountant in New York and New Jersey, as a corporate controller with Union Camp Corporation and was president and chief financial officer of Mohawk Fine Paper.

Mr. Haran gives back to his community as site coordinator for Wreaths Across America at the Holy Rood Cemetery. He also belongs to the Knights of Columbus Council #359 Morristown, American Legion Post #59, and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in Morris County.

His interests lie in American and Irish history.  He enjoys hiking and has done several long-distance hikes in England.


David A. Hollowell, Sr., Morris Township

Army.jpeg David A. Hollowell, Sr. is a Vietnam Veteran who served in the U.S. Army from February 1966 to February 1968. He supported the Army Geospatial Center as a Computer Programmer/Systems Analyst and received a programmer certificate in Data Processing from Army Engineering School.

He is the recipient of the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Marksmanship Badge - Expert/Rifle. Following his military service he earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University.

Today, he is known as the Rev. David. A. Hollowell, an associate minister of the Calvary Baptist Church in Morristown who has served as president of the Morris Area Interfaith Clergy Council, as a member of the executive board of the Morristown NAACP chapter, and continues to lead the Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Committee.  He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at University of New Haven. 

Previously, he was a systems analyst for Olin Corporation, a marketing representative for IBM and he was also employed by AT&T, Prudential-Bache Securities, Pitney Bowes, Inc., and Lucent Technologies. He also served as Interim President, CEO and past board chair of Urban League of Morris County, as well as Managing Director of D&D Associates of Morristown.

Mr. Hollowell has given back to the community by serving on numerous boards, including as Chairman Morris/Sussex/Warren Workforce Development Board and its Literacy Committee, and with Faith in Housing and Challenge Unlimited. He has served on the executive boards of Morris County Human Services Advisory Council, Girl Scouts of America, New Jersey Together, Black and Latino Action Coalition, Community Development Corporation of Northern New Jersey and Morristown Neighborhood House, where he was also a tutor.

He is a past Board Member & Vice President (pro bono) of Volunteer Media Consultants. He is also an outreach preacher to area nursing homes.

An avid photographer and artist, Rev. Hollowell is also the curator of the Black Heritage Exhibit.

Mr. Hollowell is a loving husband and proud father of a son and daughter.


Stanley A. Kasiski, East Hanover Township


Stanley A. Kasiski, East Hanover Township

Stanley A. Kasiski of East Hanover Township is a Viet Nam Era veteran who enlisted in the US Army National Guard in 1968, serving with the New Jersey Army National Guard until retiring after 25 years in 1993.

This Viet Nam Era veteran was awarded the Army Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, six Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals, two Armed Forces Reserve Medals, the NJ Meritorious Service Medal, and the New Jersey Distinguished Service Ribbon, the States top military award.

Mr. Kasiski pursued his higher education at Monmouth College West Long Branch, NJ and the New Jersey Military Academy Sea Girt NJ before embarking on a successful career in telecommunications.

He remains deeply involved in supporting fellow veterans, holds significant leadership roles as the commander of the Northern Chapter 112th Field Artillery Association Morristown and serves as the Sr Vice Commander of the American Legion Post #59 Morristown.

Outside of his professional and community engagements, he enjoys swimming, taking long walks, fishing, and immersing himself in landscaping projects.



William Klimczuk, Mount Olive

Army.jpeg William Klimczuk of Mount Olive is a veteran of the U.S. Army who served on active duty from October 1996 to 1999, with additional time in the Reserves until 2003.

He served in El Salvador and in Operation Enduring Freedom during the Global War on Terrorism. He is the recipient of the Army Lapel Button, Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Expert Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Pistol Bar, Marksman and Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar.

He served in the military police while earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Trenton State College. Upon graduation, he deployed overseas to El Salvador to provide security and protection for U.S. Forces stationed in that country.

Following his military service, he went on to earn his master's in clinical Mental Health Counseling from Kean University and is currently working as a drug and alcohol counselor.


Edward William Klingener, Sr., Town of Boonton (Deceased)

Navy.jpeg A Vietnam-era Veteran, Mr. Klingener joined the U.S. Navy in 1961 and served active duty until 1965, before he transferred into the Reserves. His first duty was in 1961 at the Boca Chica Marina at the U.S Naval Air Station in Key West, FL. He rescued a man while serving on crash crew during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was transferred to North Island, Calif., in 1963 and was attached to the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 11 (VAW11).  The squadron did shakedown cruises on USS Coral Sea, USS Ranger and he was finally stationed off the coast of Vietnam on the USS Hancock CV-19.

Mr. Klingener was born in Morristown in May of 1944 and raised in the town of Boonton. He attended Boonton schools and the County College of Morris.

After his military service, Mr. Klingener began a law enforcement career with the Morris County Park Police as the first Mounted Unit member. He then joined the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, spending most of his time in the narcotics unit. He was recognized for having one of the largest marijuana seizures on record in the State of New Jersey.

Mr. Klingener also participated in planning events for the Veterans of Foreign Wars in both Morris County and Ocean County.

In his personal time, he enjoyed being a member of the Tri-County Motorcycle Club, the Blue Knights Chapter IX and was a member of the VFW Post 242 in Boonton and a VFW in Brick Township. He loved boating, snowmobiling and anything fast.

Retirement enabled him to spend more time with his loving family. He was a proud husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He passed away at the age of 79 on Sept. 24, 2023.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Patricia-Ann Cozzarelli-Klingener, their two sons and three daughters, and his brother, Mark.


Lemuel C. Leeper-Tilghman, Roxbury

Army.jpeg Lemuel C. Leeper-Tilghman of Roxbury Township is a veteran of the U.S. Army and National Guard who served from May 2010 to April 2021 in the Global War on Terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

He is the recipient of the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and Basic Aviation Badge. 

Following military service, he worked as a correctional officer for the State of New Jersey. He is currently working as a background investigator.


Steven J. Levine, Pequannock

Navy.jpeg Steven J. Levine of Pequannock is a U.S. Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam War from June 1964 to September 1967.

While in military service he participated in the Naval Dental Intern Program and endodontics course and earned the National Defense Service Medal and a humanitarian award. As a New Jersey National Guardsman, he served as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operator. Following his military service, he attended Alfred University and Fairleigh Dickenson Dental School and went on to open his own private dental practice in River Edge.

He enjoys hiking, canoeing, sculpting and drawing.


Alistair H. Maclennan, Chester Township

Marines.jpeg Alistair H. Maclennan of Chester Township served in the Marines from January to February 1966.

He earned an associate degree at New York City Community College prior to his military service and went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Long Island University. He had an extensive career in business management, finance and comptrollership accounting, with a specialty in management of law firms.

Mr. Maclennan gives back to his community by running recovery support groups including lending his time to people who are incarcerated. He is a member of the Community Presbyterian Church where he also volunteers and is the proud father of three children and 10 grandchildren. He loves reading and hiking.


Brian McCluskey, Denville (Deceased)

mccluskey-brian-1R.jpg The late Brian McCluskey of Denville was a Vietnam Veteran who served in the U.S. Navy from April 1972 to September 1977.

He proudly served as a Navy quartermaster in ship navigation and often shared stories of being a part of a NATO fleet in the North Atlantic. He was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal. 

Following his military service, he earned a bachelor’s degree in history at St. Anselm College and a master’s degree from University of Denver. He made his career in the commercial real estate industry and was President of Shercock Appraisal.

He gave back to his community as a devoted member of St. Mary’s Church in Denville for nearly 30 years, and as a member of the American Legion #390 in Denville. He volunteered with Morris County Meals on Wheels for five years.

He treasured the small moments in life that included cooking, sailing, white water rafting, reading, genealogy, westerns and travel. His most memorable trips were mule rides down the Grand Canyon, going apple picking and taking walks with the family dog.

Mr. McCluskey was a loving husband for 42 years to his wife Peg and proud father of their loving daughter Erin. He died in the summer of 2023.


Robert J. McDonnell, Lincoln Park

Army.jpeg Robert McDonnell of Lincoln Park is a Vietnam Veteran who served in the U.S. Army from September 1966 to August 1968.

Having earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Norwich University, he served as a first lieutenant with 337th Signal Company, 1st Signal Brigade, and as operations officer of 37th Signal Battalion. He and a group of ten officers with degrees in electrical engineering deployed the Troposcatter Microwave Communications System and other cutting-edge communication technology throughout the U.S. Army I Corps.

Mr. McDonnell was awarded the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Bronze Service Star.

Following his military service, he earned a master’s degree in engineering management from Northeastern University and a graduate certificate in regulatory economics from Stanford. He transitioned into the civilian telecommunications sector with industry giants like Verizon, Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, New England Telephone and AT&T, employing his expertise in telecom regulatory policy. He later established Alliance Mediation Services, offering mediation and dispute resolution services catering to families, individuals and businesses. Over two decades, he mitigated nearly 800 civil matters and shared his knowledge by teaching mediation services at the N.J. Association of Professional Mediators program. As a retiree, he is a volunteer mediator with municipal courts in Morris County.

Beyond his professional contributions, he held offices of vice president, trustee, and volunteer with Welcome Home Veterans of New Jersey while also being an active member of both the American Legion Post #59 in Morristown and the VFW Post 3401 in Morris Plains.

Mr. McDonnell cherishes his role as a family man. Married to his wife Sandi for 24 years, they are blessed with three children, three stepchildren, and a total of 11 grandchildren. He enjoys traveling, spending time with family, gardening and playing golf and chess.


James L. McElwee, Morris Township (Deceased)

McElweeJamesL_uniform.jpg The late James L. McElwee served in the U.S. Army from 1968-1970 and continued to serve as a member of the U.S. Army National Guard in Morris County for more than two decades. He died in March 2020.

A Vietnam Era Veteran, he was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal and Sharpshooter – Rifle. He trained as a cook and worked his way up to supervisor.

Following his military service, this proud graduate of Morristown High School returned to the community he loved. He went on to earn his certification in IT technology and computer sciences.

He worked for IBM, Adidas Company and Norfork Automotive while serving in the National Guard

Mr. McElwee was active in Morristown.  He was a proud member of the Calvary Baptist Church and drove the Calvary Church van transporting elderly and sick members. He served on the church’s scholarship committee where he had the honor to award students with much-needed funds to further their education. 

He was a proud Mason as a member of the Tyrian Lodge #34 of Morristown for over 20 years.

Mr. McElwee was a loving father of four sons, James, Jerome, Jason and Jermaine.  He enjoyed bowling and participated in many local leagues over the years.  He also loved doing crossword puzzles, watching movies and singing.


Damonique Murray, Dover

Army.jpeg Damonique Simkins Murray served in the U.S. Army during the Gulf War from November 1991 to August 1999.

She is the recipient of the Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Marksman M16A2 Rifle Badge and Overseas Service Ribbon. 

Following her active-duty career, Ms. Murray earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and is now employed as a quality and compliance professional in the pharmaceutical industry. She gives back to her community by volunteering at her church's charitable events. 


Jasmine Navarro, Wharton

Army.jpeg Jasmine Navarro of Wharton served in the U.S. Army from 2004 to 2010 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

She was awarded the Iraq Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, four Overseas Service Ribbons, and Marksman Marksmanship Badge M16. 

Following her military service, she transitioned to a Department of Defense civilian role at several locations, including Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and currently at Picatinny Arsenal.

Academically, she earned her bachelor's degree in transportation and logistics management from the American Military University and her master's in business management from Keller Graduate School of Business at DeVry University.

She is a dedicated mother to her 13-year-old son, Kaleb, and is actively involved at her church, Christ Church in Rockaway Township.

She continues to serve her community as a peer support specialist for the Vets4Warriors call line, which provides an essential listening ear to support fellow veterans, and with events organized by veterans' associations including the Wounded Warriors Project. 


Joseph C. Notowicz, Morristown

Army.jpeg Joseph C. Notowicz is a resident of Morristown who served in the Vietnam War from March 1967 until March 1970. Mr. Notowicz held the rank of Specialist 5th Class in the Army, serving with the Service Battery of the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Artillery under the United States Army Europe.

In that capacity, he handled logistical, maintenance and supply tasks. Additional responsibilities included ensuring the timely provision of equipment, ammunition and other vital supplies to facilitate the battalion's operations and readiness. 

For his service he was awarded several commendations including the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Expert M-14 Badge for Marksmanship and Mechanics Badge with Bar.

After being honorably discharged from the Army, Mr. Notowicz furthered his education at Ferris State College's Vocational Technical Institute. He was employed as Morris County’s Mechanic Foreman up until his retirement.

He remains actively involved with veteran organizations, including the 112th Field Artillery Association. He holds a significant role as the Firing Captain at the American Legion Post 59 in Morristown.

Outside his service and professional endeavors, he is interested in auto mechanics, art, music and sports.


Ronald J. Pellegrino, Wharton

Pelligrino, Ronald (5).jpg Ronald J. Pellegrino of Wharton is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Navy Reserve and New York Naval Militia who served from October 1985 to May 1997, serving in Panama, the Cold War and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

A submarine radioman and special communications technician, he attended numerous military training programs. He is the recipient of the Enlisted Submarine Breast Insignia, Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine Strategic Deterrent Patrol Pin with Three Gold Stars, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one bronze star, the Good Conduct Medal, and The Greatest Navy in the World Discharge Emblem.

Following his military service, he earned a bachelor's degree from Ramapo College and a master’s from Montclair State University.

He went on to work as a quality engineer with Allied Signal Aerospace, administrative contracting officer with Defense Contract Management Agency, the branch chief of Veterans Health Administration, branch chief with Army Contracting Command and is currently an acquisition analyst with Joint Program Executive Office of Armaments & Ammunition of Project Director Joint Services at Picatinny Arsenal.

He is a loving husband of Gina and proud father of two daughters: one daughter works as a counselor, and one works at NASA Headquarters.


Anthony “Tony” P. Romano, Morris Township

Army.jpeg A Vietnam-era Veteran, Mr. Romano served with the U.S. Army on active duty from 1956 to 1958, before he transferred to the Reserves. In July of 1956, he boarded a military ship that sailed nine days to Metz, France, where he did critical mechanical work as an electrician supporting the military supply line to the front lines. Stateside, he also served at Fort Dix and Fort Drum, NY.

Born in Morris Plains, Mr. Romano graduated from Bayley-Ellard High School.

After military service, Mr. Romano went on to serve his local community as a firefighter for more than 25 years as Deputy Fire Chief (22.5 years) and Fire Chief (2.5 years) for the Morris Township Fire Department. In his leadership roles, he ran the department exceptionally and achieved many awards.

He has also served on the Morris Township Planning Board for more than 20 years and is an active member of American Legion Post #59 in Morristown. In 2022, his community efforts were recognized by the Township of Morris, which issued him the Community Service Award, and by U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill’s Office, which honored him as a District NJ-11 Hero.

Mr. Romano inspired his son John to continue the family tradition by volunteering at the local fire department, and today Mr. Romano leads the Memorial Day and Veterans Day events held by American Legion Post #59 each year at the Morris Township and Morristown Green locations.

In his personal time, he loves spending time with his family, playing baseball and bowling.


James Tarsitano, Jr., Jefferson Township

United States Air Force logo James Tarsitano, Jr., of Jefferson Township is a Vietnam Veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force from August 1963 to July 1969.

He is the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, and Air Force Medal 900-3, which also known as the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Following his military service, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from William Paterson University and went on to a 35-year career as a project controls engineer for Public Service Electric and Gas Company, and an additional 15 years as a consultant.

He is an active member of the Knights of Columbus Council #5510 in Oak Ridge and is a retired board member of Pond Hollow Village Condominium Association.

He is a loving husband and proud father of two sons and five grandchildren.


Louis F. Tremallo, Jr., Morris Township

200731-Z-TJ719-010.jpg A Vietnam-era veteran, Mr. Tremallo served with U.S. Army National Guard for six years from July 1969 until July 1975 with the 112th Field Artillery at Morristown Armory. He is a recipient of the Sharpshooter badge for the M16 Rifle.

A graduate of Morristown High School Class of 1965, Mr. Tremallo attended college at Athens University in Alabama, graduating in 1969.

Following military service, Mr. Tremallo joined American Legion Post #59 in Morristown, where he has served as Vice Commander. He has also served as Vice Commander of the 112th Field Artillery Association. 

Mr. Tremallo stands on a proud veteran legacy as the son of veteran, Louis F. Tremallo, Sr., who also served with the 112th Field Artillery during World War II and was the recipient of the Purple Heart for his service.


Marc Weinberg, Denville

Army.jpeg Marc Weinberg of Denville is a Vietnam War Veteran who served in the U.S. Army from May 1966 to February 1969.

He was the recipient of a Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He also received the Vietnam Campaign Medal, two Overseas Service Bars, Marksmanship Badge – M16 Sharpshooter, Marksmanship Badge – M14 Sharpshooter, National Defense Service Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal.

Since his military service, he has worked in law and as a cash controller tracking financial activities.  He earned his bachelor’s degree at Columbia University and his M.B.A. from Seton Hall and Columbia University.


Warren E. Wilhide, Sr., Morris Township (Deceased)

Wilhide, Sr. Warren E.-Morristown-NJ.jpg At 19-years-old, Warren E. Wilhide, Sr.  joined the U.S. Army with his best friend Rollo. The two did their Basic Training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and were stationed in Korea from 1951 until 1954.

While serving in Korea, Warren participated in four major military operations from Chuncheon Air Base. His duties included delivering supplies from Chuncheon to the troops on the front lines, sometimes in extreme winter conditions. He also worked with the Korean people to build vital roads, cut down trees for firewood and restore a local church where the soldiers joined in for Christmas worship.

When Warren completed his overseas duty, he and other GIs returned stateside on a military airplane. After he was dropped off in Baltimore for his next duty station, the plane continued its flight, but crashed during the journey, killing all on board.

During his rotation back in the U.S., he was assigned to an anti-aircraft battery defending the White House and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., until his honorable discharge. Mr. Wilhide is the recipient of the United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean War Service Medal with four bronze service stars and the Good Conduct Medal.

Following military service, he earned an engineering degree from Johns Hopkins University before going on to work for various companies including Booz Allen & Hamilton, Quantum, Golightly, WR Grace, AT&T and Western Electric. He also ran his own consulting business, Warren & Associates. He was presented with Johns Hopkins University’s prestigious "Heritage Award" where he was highly active in the Alumni Association and always looked forward to the annual Homecoming Reunions.

He married the love of his life, Carol, who was the sister of his best friend Rollo. Warren and Carol raised three children in Morris Township.

He was known for both local and international volunteer efforts. Warren gave back to those less fortunate by doing earthquake relief in Haiti, volunteering at a children’s hospital in Morocco and teaching in Kilimanjaro. He was active at his church, Hilltop Presbyterian in Mendham. He was a member of the Korean War Veterans group of American Legion Post #59. In 1988, he worked with the late Sen. Anthony R. Bucco and others to designate Route 287 in honor of Korean War veterans. He continued to work on behalf of fellow service members to secure additional designations along the interstate.

In 2003, the Harter Road portion of Route 287 was posthumously designated as the Warren E. Wilhide Interchange through legislation passed by Senator Anthony M. Bucco and Acting Governor Nicholas Scutari.

A seasoned world traveler, Warren traced his family roots back to Schwaigern, Germany and visited the local church in town to confirm his findings. He traveled on the Trans-Siberian Railroad across Russia & Mongolia to China. He took a high-altitude pressurized train across the mountains in China to Lhasa, Tibet, and became a member of the Polar Bear Club in Barrow, Alaska, when he went swimming in the ice-cold Arctic Ocean. Warren would meet with senior executives at work one day and fly to Dharamsala with the Dalai Lama on another day.

Wherever Warren went, especially to many of the places he planned to go with Carol (who sadly passed in 2008), he would take a photo of them together for a selfie picture, and update his annual Christmas Card.

Warren E. Wilhide, Sr. died in 2020 at age 88.

His motivation in service and in life came through the John Maxwell Edmonds epitaph:
"When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today."




On November 9, Morris County Commissioners presented several Morris County Distinguished Military Service Medals at the Morris County Office of Veterans Services to 11 veterans from around the county. The event also included a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of a new veteran's services wing following a renovation and office expansion that took place over the summer. 

Vets receiving awards lines up for a picture




Information Needed from Veterans of the War in Afghanistan

Participation Supports the Morris County Veterans Compendium Project

In preparation for the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the War in Afghanistan coming up on October 7, 2026, the Morris County Office of Planning & Preservation is seeking information for its Veterans Compendium project and invites local soldiers and sailors to participate.

The basic information required is the name of the soldier/sailor, Morris County hometown and branch of service. Veterans who wish to share additional information may do so and are encouraged to mention the names of those with whom they served.

Listing on the Morris County Veterans Compendium requires that you were either born in Morris County or lived in the county for a minimum of ten years. If you meet the criteria, but relocated out of state, you are eligible for listing. The Veterans compendium is open to any branch of service and photographs are appreciated.

After a draft biography is created, it is then sent back to the submitter for review and approval. The final drafts will be posted on-line October 7, 2026, under “Moondust: Afghanistan 2001-2021”. 

To date the Office of Planning & Preservation has released veteran lists from the American Revolution, The War of 1812, The Spanish-American and Philippines Wars, WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The list of veterans from the Civil War is slated to be released in April of 2024.

For more information or to submit biographies, please email Jan Williams, Cultural and Historic Resources Specialist of the Morris County Office of Planning & Preservation, at [email protected]

To view all historical projects, visit the Office of Planning & Preservation webpage on the Official Website of Morris County, NJ.