The Board of Commissioners joined the Office of Veterans Affairs, members of the Gloucester County Board of Commissioners, and local veterans on Thursday, December 7th to honor the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
Thursday marks the 82nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a military base on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Within just two hours, 18 US warships had been sunk or damaged, 188 aircrafts were destroyed, and 2,403 American servicemen and women were killed. The attack marked the beginning of the United States involvement in World War II.
“This is an important day to commemorate as so many brave men and women lost their lives,” said Commissioner Melinda Kane, liaison to the Camden County Office of Veterans Affairs. “December 7, 1941, was a day that our country, and the entire world, changed forever and it is our duty to continue honoring the legacy of those who were lost in the attack and educating future generations about what occurred that fateful day.”
The highlight of the event will be the presentation of the Peter Molnar Award to Army Veteran John Brouse, who has served veterans in Camden County since 1991. The award is presented yearly at the Pearl Harbor Ceremony and is presented to people who are significantly involved with veterans activities in the county and across the state.
Brouse served in Operation Desert Sheild/Desert Storm in 1990 and was deployed to Southwest Asia in 1991. Upon his return to New Jersey, joined the American Legion FW Grigg Post 68 where he ultimately became Post Commander. Brouse turned this post with declining membership into one of the premier posts in South Jersey through community engagement and outreach. That success led Brouse to get involved with the American Legion at the county and state levels. Brouse has served as a county vice commander and county commander of the American Legion.
Brouse’s biggest passion though is his involvement with PTSD, suicide awareness and service dog protocol awareness for veterans. He began the Post 68 PTSD/Suicide Awareness Walk which is held each year in June and raises funds for VET Dog, the organization which provided John with his service dog, Sarge.
“John is an incredible individual who has worked tirelessly to provide resources and support for veterans across the region,” Kane said. “He and veterans like him are instrumental in the health and wellbeing of our veterans and we cannot emphasize enough how thankful we are for these efforts.”