The Graybeards - KWVA - Korean War Veterans Association

The Graybeards - KWVA - Korean War Veterans Association

Officers 2004, right to left President Bob Balzer, 1st Vice President Charles

Carafano, 2nd Vice President Don Smith,, Treasurer Frank Nicolo and

Secretary Ed Brandt.

Union County KWVA Chapter #53 of New


On July 27, 1989, at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington,

Virginia, 15 Korean War veterans from New Jersey, signed a petition

for a chapter charter. The New Jersey Chapter’s list of officers

included Ed Hoth, Joe Poggi, Vic Gerst, Richie Alexander,

Tag Jensen, and Bill Cavanaugh. Membership in the first New

Jersey Chapter grew rapidly, causing the need to form additional


At present time there are 16 chapters that make up the

Department of New Jersey. Chapter 53, led by Commander

Richie Alexander, has focused its mission on volunteer work at

the New Jersey Home For Disabled Veterans at Menlo Park.

There’s nothing more satisfying, than to get a smile on some of

those faces at the veteran’s home”, says Commander Alexander.

We do a monthly bingo with cash prizes and refreshments and do

special parties for the holidays. This past Christmas, every veteran

at the home received an envelope containing cash that they

could use at the commissary shop. Chapter 53 also provides a

variety of entertainment.

Officers Ladies Aux #153 Left to right President Pat Marinelli, 1st Vice

President Pat Batissa, 2nd Vice President Bev McKay, Secretary Helen

Saccente, Chaplain Fran Nicolo, Historian-Trustee Mary Gaffney.

The newly constructed New Jersey Home For disabled Veterans at Menlo

Park. Chapter 53 works here year around.

American Legion Post #127 – Commander’s Ball – President and Past

President honored. (Thank you Charles Carafano for letter and photos.)

Chapter Commander Richie Alexander presents a gift of appreciation to

volunteer John Nagy, who has performed at the last 9 chapter Christmas

parties at the veterans home.

May/June, 2004 Page 53

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