U.S. Airforce Members Discuss Experiences With Seabrook Veterans, Residents

In postponed Veterans Day ceremony, two members of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst talk to fellow vets


Seabrook veterans and non veterans alike were treated to a informative, timely and intergenerational event on Wendesday.

With the current war in Afghanistan taking place our men and women are in harm’s way day in and day out fighting for our freedom. Years ago, residents from retirement communities like Seabrook did the same. Today some of them came together to share their stories with two of today’s heroes.

Seabrook hosted a belated Veterans Day Ceremony on Wednesday afternoon. The original ceremony was delayed due to Hurricane Sandy, which occurred last month. The storm did not stop men and women veterans from filling the Seabrook auditorium to hear the distinguished guests.

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Select Denise Johnson from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst spoke about her experiences, including her three tours in the Middle Eastern theatre of war. Also on hand was U.S. Air Force Captain Brandon Conwill, also from the joint base. He too discussed his time serving in the armed forces.

Senior Master Sergeant Select Johnson said of the veterans at Seabrook that it was an honor to be talking to them.

“They paved the way," Johnson said. "They inspired me for the sacrifices that they made.”

One veteran who lives at Seabrook who made a sacrifice was Art Wenzel an Army medic who is the recipient of 22 distinguished military medals for his service. Wenzel landed in Salerno, Italy on September 9, 1949, and clearly remembers the intense fighting, promise of backup support which never came, and how the only thing he could concentrate on was survival.

Mr. Wenzel said the program provided him a wonderful opportunity to hear some of the differences about the armed forces today. He also said he believes that the more things change, the more things stay the same.

“I admire them, but just like we were, many are scared," Wenzel said. "We want to survive and they want to survive. Technology has changed, but other than that there isn’t too much difference.”


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