The New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s Union Veterans Council and the Middlesex/Somerset Central Labor Council held a Heroes Celebration at the New Jersey Veterans Home at Menlo Park in Edison on Monday, June 8, 2020, to thank and honor the frontline union brothers and sisters on staff at the home, to thank the home’s administrators, and to humbly thank and praise the armed forces veterans living at the home.
Union sisters and brothers in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Communications Workers of America, and the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers work tirelessly around the clock to ensure New Jersey’s veterans’ needs are served. This is truly a case of heroes caring for heroes.
Don Dileo, chair of the UVC Steering Committee and an Army veteran who served honorably and proudly, led the presentation of lunches for the staff, donated by the UVC and the New Jersey State AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions, and Joyce Alston, president of BCTGM Local 53, presented union-made baked goods and other snacks for the residents, donated by the Bakery Confectionery Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union.
The Union Veterans Council served the Menlo Park Veterans Home staff their lunches and personally thanked each staff member for their dedication and care for the resident veterans. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council’s membership includes union brothers and sisters who served in all branches of America’s armed forces.
“We’re here together today as union members and as veterans,” Dileo said of the Union Veterans Council, who assembled at the home in solidarity and gratitude. Addressing the union sisters and brothers of the Menlo Park Home’s staff, he continued: “We appreciate everything you do as frontline heroes.”
As a former representative of the employees in the New Jersey state-run homes, Dileo said, he has witnessed the care given to our veterans. Because of this, the Union Veterans Council felt the need to give back, to care for the caregivers.
“This is to thank the employees of the home for their tender care of our veterans who wore the uniforms of our country,” Dileo said. “They are awesome. And they are our heroes.”
The celebration started with a caravan of horn-tooting cars emblazoned with signs of thanks and support for the frontline heroes and the veterans. The union sisters and brothers who came out to see the caravan replied to the horns with cheers of their own.