About NJ Veteran Journal:
The New Jersey Veteran Journal is an official publication of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends and concerned individuals and groups. All correspondence should be sent to:
Veteran Journal Editor
PO Box 340
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340
COUPLES LUNCHEON HELD FOR MENLO RESIDENTSStory and photos by Staff Sgt. Armando Vasquez, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
The non-alcoholic champagne was poured and "Sweet Caroline" played in the background while several veterans looked lovingly into their spouse's eyes. Memories of their loving relationship swirled in their heads as they gazed at each other, smiled and shared a meal.
Now running on its 11th year, the "Couples Luncheon" at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park provided the opportunity for residents of the Home to enjoy an intimate meal with their spouse June 4, said Christine A. Caratozzolo, supervisor of recreations at the Home.
The luncheon, which was catered by Brunswick Memorial Home and entertainment provided by Lou B., hosted approximately 50 couples for dining and dancing at the Home's Towne Square. In addition, each couple was provided with a personally-framed formal photograph as a keepsake.
For one couple, the event was a new experience. Michael Drahl, a former engineer and an Army veteran, was pleasantly surprised when he received the invitation. Having just moved into the Home in October, Drahl said he and his wife, Maria, were very appreciative of the opportunity to spend time together. The Belvidere couple have been married for 34 years and raised two children.
For other couples, the opportunity to spend time with their spouse was even more special as they also celebrated their wedding anniversary during the month of June.
Elmer Buckley, a World War II Navy veteran, and his wife, Ora, celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary June 23. The couple, married since 1947, raised four children and have 10 grandchildren and four great-granddaughters.
Dennis Castelli, a U.S. Army veteran, celebrated his 23rd wedding anniversary June 2. Castelli and his wife, Rosemary, have two children and three grandchildren.
So as their meal was being served and the music played, the couples enjoyed their time together and danced to the tunes of "YMCA".
Guard helps homeless vets
New Jersey National Guard Soldiers serve a hot lunch to homeless veterans at the Northern New Jersey Stand Down Oct. 13, 2012. The NJNG, along with the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and various veteran service organizations sponsored the outreach event at the John F. Kennedy Recreation Center in Newark, N.J. Photo by Staff Sgt. Armando Vasquez, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
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