NJ Army National Guard presents military awards to 20 veterans

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HOLMDEL -

The New Jersey Army National Guard presented state military awards to 20 veterans Tuesday during a ceremony.

The soldiers were presented with the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal. The medal was originally issued in 1858 for those who distinguished themselves in the New Jersey Militia. It was used infrequently until it was re-authorized by Gov. Tom Kean in 1988.

The soldiers honored Tuesday served from the Korean War to Operation Enduring Freedom.

“I commend that they are recognizing the Vietnam-era veterans. These are men who served in the military during the Vietnam War. They could have been in Vietnam just as quickly as I was,” said Michael McCarthy of Wall.

“It meant a lot to me today, because we are starting to get the recognition we deserve, and it brings back a lot of memories over the years. Very nice, very nice ceremony,” said Nick Tckas of Columbus.

The Distinguished Service Medal is New Jersey's highest military award.

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