PHOTO:  VFW 2179 Commander Will Purcell and Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger, Ph.D. with members of the post and their Ladies Auxiliary during a presentation thanking him for his support to veterans.

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger, Ph.D. was honored this week by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2179 for his steadfast dedication to Middletown’s veterans.

VFW 2179 Commander Will Purcell recognized Mayor Scharfenberger at the April Township Committee meeting. In attendance were veterans and members of the Ladies Auxiliary. They thanked the mayor for his continued support of and dedication to veterans. Purcell also thanked Mayor Scharfenberger for his attendance at all of their ceremonies and remembrances over the years.

“We are forever indebted to our veterans for their sacrifice, service and valor,” said Mayor Scharfenberger. “They are brave soldiers who put their lives on the line to defend our country and protect our way of life.”

“I am truly honored to receive this recognition from VFW Post 2179,” said Mayor Scharfenberger. “I believe is it our obligation, as Americans, to serve our veterans as they have served us. I encourage everyone to support veterans and recognize the sacrifices they and their families have made.”

During the meeting, Mayor Scharfenberger also presented Commander Purcell with a proclamation declaring May 2016 as Buddy Poppy Month in Middletown Township to help raise awareness about this annual fund drive.

In addition to his regular attendance at events for veterans, Mayor Scharfenberger spearheaded the founding of the Veterans Affairs Committee. The volunteer committee is tasked with supporting residents serving or who have served in the armed forces. Among the committee’s many projects is the Fallen Veteran Commemorative Street Signs program. More than 50 signs are being installed with support from the township’s Public Works department to pay tribute to veterans killed in action from World War II to the present. Mayor Scharfenberger has attended all the sign dedication ceremonies held to date. He has also tasked the group with researching veterans killed in action during World War I and previous military campaigns.

In support of soldiers serving in the Armed Forces, the township hosts a tribute wall at Town Hall for active Middletown soldiers. The township has also adopted military units and sent tons of supplies to soldiers serving overseas. Visit www.middletownnj.org/hero for more information on the tribute wall.

Mayor Scharfenberger has been serving on the Township Committee since 2005, having served as Mayor in 2007, 2008 and 2016 and as Deputy Mayor in 2009 and 2006. Dr. Scharfenberger has been a member of the Landmarks Commission since 1996, and currently serves on the Middletown Township Open Space Committee and the Municipal Alliance for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. He has lived in Middletown with his wife and two children for more than 15 years.