MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Middletown Township is seeking volunteers to serve on its newly-minted Veterans Affairs Committee. The Township Committee formally established the advisory committee by ordinance to support a growing number of residents serving or having served in the armed forces.

“With the number of veterans in Middletown growing with each passing year, we feel it is critical that we have a committee locally to advocate for them, said Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger."  "We had boards and commissions that oversee every facet of the township with the exception of our veterans.  Now we have a body dedicated solely to veterans’ affairs."

The committee will consist of five volunteer members appointed by the Township Committee. At least three of the members will be always veterans of the armed forces. The committee’s responsibilities include reporting the concerns of veterans to the governing body, providing information on local, state and federal veterans’ programs, and making recommendations on how to best meet the needs of Middletown’s veterans.

The founding members of the committee would be appointed in January 2011. Meeting dates and times will be determined. Residents interested in volunteering their time and experience to serve on this committee or any advisory body can submit an application to the Middletown Talent Bank. Applications can be sent to Middletown Talent Bank, c/o Township Clerk, Town Hall, One Kings Highway, Middletown, NJ 07748.  Applications are available at Town Hall, and online at www.middletownnj.org.

The Veterans’ Affairs Committee is the latest in a series of steps taken to support growing numbers of residents serving in the military over the last decade.  The Middletown Supports the Troops program was established by Mayor Scharfenberger in 2007. Approximately three tons of supplies generously donated by local businesses and families have been shipped to soldiers serving in the Middle East since its inception. The township adopted paratroopers from 1BSTB, 82nd Airborne Division during their 2007-2008 deployment to Iraq, Army Sgt. Eric McCoy, Delta Company, 404th Civil Affairs Battalion during his 2008-2009 deployment to Iraq and Marine Captain Nicholas Abbate while he was stationed in Afghanistan earlier this year.

Hometown Heroes, a tribute wall honoring residents actively serving in the military, was established at Town Hall in 2008 by Mayor Pamela M. Brightbill. More than 30 photos of Middletown’s soldiers are honored on this wall. Loved ones with residents serving in the military are invited to send a photo and short bio to Hometown Heroes, 1 Kings Highway.  The Township has also co-sponsored the American Legion 338 Memorial Day Parade and VFW 2179 Veteran’s Day parade for decades.