To the Editor:
As a retired Army sergeant and corrections captain, I have seen firsthand the challenges that our veterans have faced after returning home.
I graduated high school in Millville in 1968, which was a big year in the Vietnam War. I ended up in I-Corps, not far from the demilitarized zone. I was 20 at the time and it was a heck of a way to grow up.
At times, it seems like a million years ago. Other times, it feels like yesterday, but it made me who I am.
Once I got back home, I was lucky enough to meet and marry my wife, Bonnie. I was blessed to have a career in law enforcement, retiring as a captain several years ago.
I was fortunate to be able to be involved in the community, coaching youth basketball, baseball, and soccer for 13 years while my kids were in school; and being an active community member in everything from the North Italy Club and the Thunderbolt Club, to the American Legion and the Elks. For a lot of years, most people called me coach, not assemblyman.
Most of us who have served in the military want to continue our service. We take an oath, and that oath never ends, so in 2015, at the ripe young age of 64, I ran for the Assembly.
It’s been rewarding to make such a difference in people’s lives as an assemblyman. Together with Robert "Bob" Andrzejczak and Matt Milam, I’ve been able to pass 25 bills to help our veterans, including laws to provide job training and scholarships to returning veterans.
This year, we passed legislation to double income tax deduction for veterans to $6,000. This, coupled with legislation to expand the senior property tax freeze, will help veterans and seniors who are on a fixed income stay in their homes and retire with a bit of dignity.
It is important that qualified residents know about these programs and take full advantage of them, and we invite them to contact our offices to apply. Those interested can call (609) 465-0700 in Cape May County and (856) 696-7109 in Cumberland County.
ED. NOTE: The author is a Democrat candidate for the Assembly.