Memorial Day-2022

Veterans Day-2021

9/11 Memorial Svc-2021

Flag Retirement-2021

50th Anniversary


About Post 5481

Commemorative Brick

Military Funeral Services

VFW Speakers

Voice of Democracy - Patriot's Pen

Lazar School Tribute

Freedom Plaza
VFW Eligibility

WWII Veterans Registry

VA Hospitals

MCVS Office

Veteran Support Group

VA Records On-line

Buddy Poppy Program

When a Vet Dies


Worn-out American Flags


For More Information try the following:
Kenneth Hanzl
Post Commander
(973) 214-2505

Carl DeBacco
Click to Email VFW5481

Ken Hanzl
Membership Chair

VFW New Jersey Website

VFW National Website

Maria Salazar
Morris Co VSO
(973) 285-6866

Montville Twsp Website

WWII Memorial Website

Purple Heart Memorial Site




Patriots Day Celebration - 9/11/2022
Our Post presented a Patriots Day Celebration on Sunday, September 11th, 2022, the 21st anniversary of the 9-11 attack. Guest speakers include NYC Fireman Frank Campisi from Ladder Company 107 who was active in rescue services who spoke about that day and the followwing days. He discribed the harrowing event that escalated from rescue on day one to remains recovery for weeks after. Township resident Steve Harris spoke about his reactions sitting in his office on the 29th Floor of the South Tower. Hearing a loud explosion, not knowing what had occurred, he was advised to evacuate the building. Not until he reached the lobby was he informed of the cause of the explosion, he said it was like an apocalyptic movie. In addition, Township Resident Paul DeGroot, who at that time was working for the Passaic County Prosecutore's Offcie, felt the uncontrolable desire to help. He and a co-worker joined the Red Cross effort and were instrumental in providing supplies and needed aid for the survivors, which later turned to provideing aid for the recovery efforts. Their accounts and experiences reminded us all of the tragedy we all endured at the hands or fanatical extremists. Their experiences deeply moved those in attendance.

Video of ceremony to follow.

Memorial Day May 30th, 2022
Our Post wished to celebrate our comrades who have given the ultimate sacrifice and those who have died since serving. They all served to protect our freedoms and extraordinary way of life. This year we paid tribute to our Gold Start Families and the sacrifices they endure throughout the year while we honor their memory only on this day. With pride, honor and humility we offered this tribute to those who have answered duty's call. Included in our ceremony was a Honor Fly-over of a WWII vintage Navy T-34 trainer courtesy of US Coast Guard Flotilla 10-1 out of Lincoln Park. We will never forget.

Click on Photo for Video

Veterans are Proven Patriots
Veterans Day Ceremony-November 11, 2021

The Ceremony this year was more in-tune with the normal due to the relaxed Covid restrictions. The in-person celebrants numbered over 200 with several zoomed in from around the country. Commander Ken Hanzl presided over the ceremony and introduced the dignitaries in attendance as well as John Elliott, CBS New York, who covered the ceremony for Channel 2 News.

We were honored to have two keynote speakers. The first was State Senator Joe Pennacchio who gave an insightful and poignant speech. The second was local citizen George Nader, who related his experience as a youth in Beirut, Lebanon, surviving the embassy bombing in 1983. Both speeches well worth your time to listen.

Patriotic songs were sung by our own, Alus, and Nick Sisco. Each branch of the service was honored under their theme song, wreaths placed by local first responders, taps played and rifles fired for those brothers and sisters who never returned, and a lone fly-over by the Coast Guard Flotilla 10-01. Honor, Respect and Dignity was abundant with those in attendance.
It was our honor to serve.

Click on Graphic for Video

Click on CBS Graphic for Channel 2 coverage with John Elliott...sorry, with commercial.

9/11 Memorial Service-20th Anniversary
On Saturday September 11th at 11am, Montville Township conducted a Commemorative 20th Anniversary Ceremony of the attacks on the NYC World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93. Attendees gathered in overwhelming numbers crowding the Freedom Plaza to honor our fallen citizens and remember the carnage that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Our Post Commander, Ken Hanzl, presided over the ceremony. In attendance were State, County, and local dignitaries along with members of the police department, the Montville, Towaco, and Pine Brook Fire Departments, and first aid squad. Remembrances were voiced by those who were active during that terrible event. Former Mayor John Rosellini and Former Police Chief Edward Adams described their actions as events happened that day. Wreaths were placed, a bell chimed as names were read, and flowers were placed in solemn respect for the people who died. Patriotic songs were sung by Montville Township resident, Nick Sisco. Also mentioned were the thirteen soldiers in Afghanistan who were the latest to die two weeks earlier. Hearing their names reminded us that terror continues today.

The event was solemn and respectful for those innocent souls who were taken without warning. Those of us who personally experienced the events of 911 were given a deeper connection to what had transpired. Whether we were infants, 80 years old or born after that tragic day, ceremonies such as this will always remind us of what terrorism can do. Click on image for Ceremony.

US Flag Retirement Ceremony
The Post conducted its first ever Flag Retirement Ceremony on September 18th at 10:00am, 2021, at the pavilion just opposite the Montville Township Amphitheater. Commander Ken Hanzl presided over the ceremony. Educational insights on the creation and meaning of our national symbol were offered by Trail Life Scouts as well as the ritual designated for the destruction of our flag by Commander Hanzel. Participants included a large contingent from the Trail Life Troop NJ 0777, Girl Scouts Daisy Troop 98205, and Girl Scout Troop 97539 who provided guidence for singing our National Anthem. Patriotic flag related entertainment was provided by the acapella group 'Express Male' and our own Nick Sisco. The ceremonial flag burning was conducted under the supervision of the Montville Township Fire Departments with assistance of the combined scout troops.

This ceremony will become a yearly event to honor the retirement of our worn-out symbols of freedom. Stay posted for upcoming schedule.

The ceremony was broadcast under Zoom and can be viewed by clicking the image below.

Click on this flag to better understand the history and meaning of our honored National symbol.

50th Anniversary

In April of 2020 we were to celebrate our 50th Anniversary and, as it turned out, that was not to be. We were to create an Ad Book dedicated to our supporters but unable to produce it due to the cancellation. It is now our intention to incorporate those Ads into this webpage. Click on above graphic.


Brotherhood...benefits...and more
Some may not be aware, the VFW is a National non-profit organization comprised solely of active military and veterans who served in specified combat areas. Only those qualified may join. Whether you join us or not, you will always be a part of this organization...a brother (or sister)-in-arms.

The primary functions of the Post are to maintain a patriotic presence by reminding everyone of the sacrifices made by the select few and the ongoing bravery performed by our troops on a daily basis. Additionally, we counsel fellow veterans on their entitlements under various benefits offered to those who served. This is obtained through our decades of accumulated experiences.

Post 5481 needs new members with new ideas to sustain our effectiveness in being a leading force within our community. When Uncle Sam beckoned we replied and served with pride and honor, fulfilling our patriotic duty. Continue to serve... join the Post and be with your comrades once again. Although we no longer wear the uniform...we remain soldiers nevertheless... ready to serve, protect, and defend.

Check this link if you think you may be eligible to join our organization. If you are eligible, we would be proud to accept you as one of our members.

Check Eligibility here.

VFW 5481 Membership Application here.

Information About Post 5481
Montville Memorial Post 5481 was founded in 1970 with 34 members. Our current membership is 87. By National Charter, membership is limited to those military personnel who served overseas during a period of National Conflict. The Post's home is located at 132 Changebridge Road in Montville, New Jersey, at the entrance to the Community Center complex. Meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Post 5481 focuses on two issues; the first is to be good citizens in our home community by participating in its projects and activities, particularly in those areas of patriotism and where our military background can be utilized; and the second is to provide aid and assistance to all military personnel, both veterans and those still on active duty.


Military Funeral Services
The Post Funeral Ritual Team is available to conduct military funeral services for deceased Township military veterans when so requested. The deceased need not be a member of the VFW Post. Post Commander Hanzl can be contacted at or

Commemorative Brick Program
Post 5481 has instituted a "Commemorative Brick Program" to honor all military veterans, regardless of Post membership, for their service to our Nation. This honorarium is open to current or Township-affiliated residents as a community service and a not-for-profit gesture, cost only to cover the materials. Bricks are inscribed with personal facts regarding a family member or friend, alive or deceased, as it relates to their military service. The 'bricks' are included in the wall and surrounding pathway of the tank monument in the Freedom Plaza. For information contact us through e-mail at, or call 973-263-0051.

Photos of the brick wall and walkway can be seen on the right margin photo gallery.

The Application for Commemorative Brick can be accessed at this link - VFW 5481 Commemorative Brick Application.

VFW Speakers
The Post has several members who are available to speak on a variety of military and veteran topics at local schools, clubs, or organizations. For information contact us through our main e-mail,

The Post supports Memorial Day school activities in an ongoing relationship with the Montville Township School System.

Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen-2021
Every year our Post sponsors a Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen Essay Contests. These National Programs are run in conjunction with the Montville Township School System. Essays are composed by students of different age groups with patriotism and democracy as the underlying theme.

Once again this year we are proud to report that we have been honored with many entries thanks to the willingness of our participants and dedicated faculties. Local winners were three for Patriot's Pen and two for Voice of Democracy.

In addition to student competition, there is a National Citizenship Education Teacher Recognition Award for the three educational levels. We are also proud to announce that our local winners had placed first in their respective categories at the District level and are proceeding to the New Jersey State competition.

Post Winners in their categories are:

Patriot's Pen
  • Samantha Michelle Kats - First Place - Robert R. Lazar Middle School
  • Click here for essay.
  • Maana Parikh - Second Place - Robert R. Lazar Middle School
  • Gabriella O'Brien - Third Place - Robert R. Lazar Middle School

Voice of Democracy
  • Khush H. Parikh - First Place - Montville Township High School
  • Click here for audio.
  • Aarav R. Mulinti - Second Place - Montville Township High School

Teacher Recognition Award
  • Maureen Moran - Cedar Hill Elementary School
  • Michelle Trautmann - Robert R. Lazar Middle School
  • Justin Scrufari - Montville Township High School

Each VOD and Patriots Pen participant received a framed certificate and monetary award which was presented to them prior to the start of the December 7th monthly Montville Township Committee Meeting. The Teacher Recognition Awards were presented personally by Awards Chairman, Dominick D'Andrea, at a later date.

Lazar School Tribute
Over these many years students at Montville Township's Robert R. Lazar Middle School has offered a tribute to fallen veterans on Veteran's Day under the direction of Social Studies Teacher Rick Crescente. Students and teachers would gather with VFW members to place flags on the graves of our fallen heros going back to the Revolutionary War. They assisted in identifying and recording the locations of their burial plots for all of the Township's cemetaries. The video that follows is a culmination of that effort.

Click on Graphic for Video

Freedom Plaza
The Veterans Commemorative Wall has been combined with the Township Memorial now known collectively as Freedom Plaza. The Plaza was dedicated on September 11th, 2004, to the everlasting memory of those who have fallen in the defense of our country and to all of those who perished in the attack on America - September 11th, 2001. The centerpiece to the Plaza is the section of structure obtained from the Twin Towers rubble. Adjacent to the Plaza and behind the Post Building is the military honor wall and pathway that flanks the M60 Vietnam era Army Tank. The Wall is composed of bricks inscribed with names of living or deceased veterans with their personal remembrances or those of family members. We urge that you visit the Plaza and Wall Commemorative and pay silent homage to those who made personal sacrifices in the furtherance of our freedom.

VFW Eligibility and Application
Montville Memorial VFW Post 5481 continues to embark on a membership drive. If you served overseas during a wartime period, and would be interested in joining our Post, please call Membership Chair Ken Hanzl at 973-214-2505 or email at The fundamental difference between our organization and other veterans' organizations is our eligibility qualification...assigned to conflict areas. Our VFW welcomes all who meet our eligibility criteria.

If you have received a campaign medal for overseas service, have served 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days in Korea, or have ever received hostile fire or imminent danger pay, then you're eligible to join our ranks. Contact us to determine if you qualify or check your eligibility by Checking Eligibility here.

The Application for Membership can be accessed at this link -VFW 5481 Membership Application.

You don't have to be a Township resident to belong to our Post. Come join us.

VA Records Available On-line
For those veterans or family members who wish to obtain records of a relative such as a DD214 or other related documents, they are able to do so on-line. The required form, SF 180, can be downloaded or completed via internet connection. All that is needed would be:
  • Veteran's full name used while in service
  • Service or Social Security Number
  • Branch of Service
  • Date and Place of Birth
  • Where stationed may be requested
The web page is located at Veteran Records. Expect three weeks for a response.

WWII Veterans Registry
There is a site available on-line that can be used to locate WWII veterans. The site is called NATIONAL WWII MEMORIAL and can be located at this link-

To locate someone, do the following:
  • 'Copy' the link above and paste it to your web browser's address bar. 'Click' GO. That will bring you to the NATIONAL WWII MEMORIAL home page.
  • In the left margin column, 'click' on WWII REGISTRY. That will take you to the 'Registry' page.
  • At the top link bar, 'click' Search the Registry. That will take you to the 'Search Criteria' page.
  • Fill in the boxes with the Last Name and First Name of the person searching for and the State where inducted, if known. If not known, leave blank. Then click 'SUBMIT'.
Hopefully you will be able to locate a friend you haven't seen for years.

East Orange and Lyons V.A. Hospital
The Department of Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System (VANJHCS) is a consolidated facility comprised of two main campuses, one in East Orange, the corporate office located in Northeastern New Jersey within the greater New York metropolitan area, and one in Lyons, 22 miles to the west of the East Orange Campus.

If you are inclined, contributions can be made to VA East Orange and Lyons Hospitals through this Post. Contact us by e-mail at

Anyone requiring information for East Orange or Lyons Hospitals, contact:
VA NJ Health Care System, East Orange Campus
385 Tremont Avenue
East Orange, NJ 07018

VA NJ Health Care System, Lyons Campus
151 Knollcroft Road
Lyons, New Jersey 07939
(908) 647-0180
Contributions should be made out to: VA New Jersey Health Care System. If you would rather, we will gladly forward any contribution to the intended service facility in your name. Contact us for details.

Morris County Veterans Services Office
Morris County has a Veterans Service Office in place to support military veterans who need assistance with the several VA programs, with obtaining military-related records or medals due them for their military service, or for any other military related situation. If you are a veteran and wish to avail yourself of the services, contact the MC Veterans Service Officer, Maria Salazar, at, (973) 285-6866, or write her at Department of Human Services, Morris County Veterans Service Office, P.O. Box 900, Morristown, N.J. 07960...physical address 540 West Hanover Avenue, Morristown, NJ. She will assist you or advise you of the proper channels to remedy your situation. If you wish, you may locally contact Post Commander Ken Hanzl who has a knowledge base that may satisfy your immediate need. As a reminder, the State of New Jersey and County of Morris have medals to honor veterans of our area who have served during certain conflicts, WWII to present. Contact the Morris County Veterans Service Officer for more information.

All Veterans are urged to register for VA benefits and care. You are entitled to physical exams, eye exams, and a prescription program. Do it now while the advantage is in your favor. The Post received many calls regarding this and we advise callers to contact Veterans Services of East Orange or Lyons Hospitals (see above).

The Morris County Department of Human Services has issued a Directory containing Veterans Resource and other County Services which is a 19 page document full of pertinent information and contacts valuable to our brother and sister veterans. Well worth your time. Access through this Link.

Veteran Peer Support Group
Morris County Veterans Service Office in conjunction with New Bridge Services is offering a peer support group service to all veterans regardless of time in service or discharge status. The group is designed to offer a facilitated and guided conversation among participant veterans to aid in healing and recovery for the impact of their life's stressors free of charge. If you wish to avail yourself of this servivce contact New Bridge Services at 973-316-9333 or

Access Flyer through this Link.

Buddy Poppy Program
The poppy is the official memorial flower of the VFW. In the spring of 1915 a Canadian doctor Lt. John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in the battle-scarred fields to write the poem "In Flanders Fields." After the First World War, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of remembrance. Today, it is also a means of fundraising for the VFW. The Buddy Poppy Program has helped the VFW live up to its motto " honor the dead by helping the living."

Access Buddy Poppy Poem here... In Flanders Fields.

Click here to see how our brothers in Australia pay tribute to their fallen warriors on the "Roll of Honour" and "War Dog" memorials.
Australia Honour.

When a Veteran Dies
It is extremely stressful when a veteran reaches the end of their life. The sorrow and chaos surrounding the Veteran and the Family are even more demanding when arrangements have to be made for interment and obtaining entitlements due the Veteran's family. It may be distasteful to think about pre-compiling information, but it makes it easier with the veteran's input and knowledge and less of a burden will be placed on the family.

Access things to do here... When A Veteran Dies.

Worn-out American Flags
Our National Flag is an important and honored symbol of who we are and what we stand for. It has preceded our soldiers in battle and decorates our homes to display to all our pride of country and support for our troops. When such a symbol becomes worn, tattered, or damaged beyond use, it is necessary to retire those colors and treat them with the respect that befits such a great symbol. To that end, the Post has established an American Flag Disposal Box, an old recycled red-white-blue mailbox, at the rear of the Post home at 132 Changebridge Road, where citizens may bring their old flags for destruction according to strict military protocol.

Post 5481 does its share to maintain a beautiful and clean community during the quarterly Adopt-A-Road cleanup and beyond. We do our part and request that you too participate by keeping our community clean and litter free.

Individuals and businesses can mail contributions to the Post throughout the year. Please send your donation to:
    Commander-VFW Post 5481
    C/O Commander Ken Hanzl
    8 Moore Road
    Montville, New Jersey 07045
Kindly make checks payable to: VFW Post 5481 Welfare Fund.

You are reminded that your donations are tax deductible.

Montville Memorial VFW Post 5481
132 Changebridge Road
Montville, New Jersey 07045

VFW 5481 is a non-profit organization dedicated to the people of Montville Township, NJ. We join with our fellow citizens in making this community a better place to live.

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