SOMERVILLE – Rod Hirsch, founder and executive director of Operation Shoebox New Jersey, was honored by Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano and the New Jersey Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve organization during the Somerset County Law Enforcement “Show of Strength” program.
Provenzano presented Hirsch with the Sheriff’s Recognition Award for his work with Operation Shoebox New Jersey. Founded in 2005, the non-profit organization has worked with thousands of volunteers to ship over 70,000 personal care packages to US troops deployed overseas.
The proclamation states “It is with utmost gratitude that we thank Rod Hirsch for his selfless service and dedication to our troops overseas.”
Col. Alan Smith, USMC (Ret.) and state chairman of the ESGR, presented Hirsch with its Seven Seals Award, “for meritorious leadership and initiative in support of the men and women who serve America in the National Guard and Reserve.” The seven seals represent the emblems of the Army National Guard, United States Army Reserve, United States Marine Corps Reserve, the Department of the Navy Naval Reserves, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve Command and the United States Coast Guard Reserve.
The ESGR works with employers to support and value the military service of its employees, and to ensure reservists and National Guard members that their jobs will be waiting for them when they return home from their military service.
The ceremony was held in the Somerset County Veterans Memorial Plaza adjacent to the County Administration Building. Provenzano was joined by other law enforcement officials from Somerset County and throughout the state, all of whom signed a Statement of Support for New Jersey’s “citizen warriors.”
Also in attendance were New Jersey Parole Board Chairman James Plousis and Past Departmental Commander Bob Looby of the New Jersey American Legion; Somerville American Legion Post 12 Commander Patrick Spirito; state Senator Kip Bateman; state Assemblywoman Donna Simon, Somerset County Freeholder Director Peter Palmer; Deputy Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione; Freeholder Mark Caliguire, Freeholder Pat Walsh and Freeholder Robert Zaborowski.