MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Board of County Commissioners recognizes resident Veterans by presenting them with the Distinguished Military Service Medal. These medals are unique to Morris County, although copied in many ways, and were first issued in 1999 to honor WWII veterans on the 55th Anniversary of the 1944 D-Day invasion and the liberation of France from Nazi occupation. Morris County expanded the medals to include Vietnam and Korea, as well as general service in our military during other conflicts. In 2022, Morris County unveiled medals for Iraq and Afghanistan. These honors are presented to veterans who served honorably and helped make our nation and Morris County a better place to live.
Several Parsippany residents were honored. They included:
Gary R. Martin
Mr. Martin is a U.S. Navy veteran who served from 1974 to 1978. He is a Vietnam-era and post-Vietnam-era veteran who receives the National Defense Service Ribbon and is a naval pistol sharpshooter.
Mr. Martin is also a graduate of the Morris and Essex Police Academy and served his community as a police officer. He is also a 32-degree Master Mason and past Masonic Shrine clown.
Edward W. D’Angelo, (posthumous)
A veteran whose military service spanned 43 years. Unfortunately, Mr. D’Angelo passed away in 2009.
Mr. D’Angelo was a career Naval Officer who enlisted with the U.S. Navy before his 17th birthday and served on active duty during the Korean War. He rose to Chief Petty Officer as a Seabee and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer-4.
His many awards were two National Defense Service Medals, three Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medals, and three Armed Forces Reserve Medals.
He continued to serve in the Naval Reserve while working as an electrician until 1990. He also served as a Morris County Deputy Sheriff and a Parsippany Police Department Special Officer.
This veteran also proudly raised five children, four of whom graduated from Penn State University.
Edward J. D’Angelo
Son of Edward W. D’Angelo and brother to Michael F. D’Angelo, he is also a decorated career naval officer. Mr. D’Angelo served in the Navy from 1986 until 2016 and is a veteran of Panama, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Somalia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Haiti, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He attended Penn State and participated in Naval ROTC as a Midshipman from 1982 to 1986. He was commissioned as an Ensign and qualified as a Naval Aviator.
Mr. D’Angelo has flown over 4,000 hours, mostly in helicopters, and has completed ten overseas deployments, eight on aircraft carriers. He is credited with 15 life-saving rescues, including a dangerous ocean rescue during Hurricane Floyd.
His impressive resume also is on our website. But let me note Mr. D’Angelo was promoted to Captain, and his awards include 3 Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, and 5 Navy Commendations.
Mr. D’Angelo is happily married, living in Florida, and is a proud father of twins.
A Morris Catholic graduate, Lt. Commander D’Angelo served in the U.S. Navy for 40 years from 1982 to 2022, and earned roughly 50 special military honors and awards for that service.
He began his career as a Naval Air Crewman on various aircraft carriers supporting escorts for re-flagged Kuwaiti tankers, Iranian retaliatory strikes, and operations in Libya.
Although heft active duty in 1986, he joined the Naval Reserve, was recalled on 9/11, and was commissioned a Naval Cryptologic Officer in 2003.
His deployments included Afghanistan, and his many assignments included the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, commanding the Navy Operational Support Center in Pennsylvania, working in the Pentagon, serving on the Chief of Naval Operations staff, serving the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and the Navy Personnel Command in Tennessee.
Michael’s son, David, is a Chief Petty Officer and Navy Seabee Diver.
A veteran of the U.S. Army and New Jersey National Guard who served from 1970 to 1999 during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
He receives the Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal. He was awarded the Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, New Jersey Ribbon of Merit, New Jersey Governor Award, National Guard Unit Strength, and NJ Meritorious Service Medal.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Bloomfield College and was CEO of Wayne Camera Center. He is a member of the American Legion, Jewish War Veterans, and a Master Mason.
Joel and his wife Sharon have been married for 55 years. They have one son and two grandsons.