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Veterans presented with medals

Two local veterans have been honored for their service to the nation.

August DeVico of Howell received the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal in recognition of his service in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.

Joshua Avilleria of Jackson received the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of his service in the U.S. Army during Operation Enduring Freedom.

The men received their medals from Maj. Gen. Steven Ferrari, commander, 42nd Infantry Division, during a state medal ceremony that was held at the Ocean County Mall, Toms River, on Oct. 24, according to a press release from the New Jersey Department Of Military and Veterans Affairs.

The medal ceremony marked the start of a two-day visit of the veterans outreach kiosk, where veterans and their family members were able to learn about benefits or entitlements they may be eligible to receive. Veterans and their families may call 1-888-8NJ-VETS for assistance, according to the press release.

In order to be eligible to receive the Distinguished Service Medal, an individual must meet all the following criteria: currently be a resident of New Jersey, have been a resident of New Jersey at the time they entered into military service, have been honorably discharged, have proof of having served in combat while on active duty during wartime.

The Distinguished Service Medal can be awarded posthumously to the next-of-kin of a veteran who meets the criteria. Individuals interested in applying for the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal may call 1-888-865-8387 for more information.

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