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‘Our Community Salutes’ Will Honor Military-Bound Students


(Washington Twp., NJ) – Freeholder Director Robert Damminger and Deputy Director Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Chila announced today that Gloucester County will become the second county in the State of New Jersey to participate in the national ‘Our County Salutes’ program to recognize graduating high school students who enlist in the armed services after graduation.


Director Damminger said, “We want to make certain that the students who choose to enlist in the military are honored and that their community is behind them.  There is a lot of fanfare made when students choose a college and we want to recognize those students who are military bound.”


Our Community Salutes (OCS) is a national, non-profit organization created to recognize and honor graduating high school students (and their parents) who plan to enlist in the armed services after graduation.  The program takes year-long coordination with schools and recruiting officers and the community.


Freeholder Deputy Director Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Chila said that when he learned of the ‘Our Community Salutes’ program that he got in touch with Dr. Ken Hartman who founded the program to learn how to begin one in Gloucester County.  Chila said a May 2013 program is being planned. 


“Our military-bound graduates are often overlooked and we owe it to them and their families to celebrate their decision and to thank them,” said Chila.  “We are looking forward to working with ‘Our Community Salutes’ and creating a memorable event for these students and families,” said Deputy Director Chila.  Chila also serves as the liaison to the Office of Veterans Affairs.  


Dr. Kenneth E. Hartman, Founder and President of Our Community Salutes, joined Freeholder Director Damminger and Deputy Director Chila to announce Gloucester County’s plans for its 2013 participation in the national program.


Dr. Hartman said, “We are excited that Gloucester County will become the second county in the state to recognize our military bound high school seniors and their parents and give them the acknowledgement they rightfully deserve.”