DOD to salute JCFD's support for the troops

Wednesday, July 02, 2008
By MICHAELANGELO CONTE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

The U.S. Department of Defense has named the Jersey City Fire Department as one of 15 employers to receive the 2008 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

Founded in 1996, the Freedom Award is the highest recognition given to employers for outstanding support of employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve, said Beth Sherman, of the office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

The JCFD was nominated by Capt. Leonard DiStaso and selected from among 2,199 nominations made by National Guard and Reserve members or their family members.

DiStaso has been with the JCFD since 1997 and in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve since 1994. The warrant officer's duties have included two deployments to Iraq.

DiStaso said his fellow firefighters raised money for Christmas gifts for the children of deployed Marines in his unit, and bought phone cards for deployed Marines and wounded service members at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.

"During all of these deployments the JCFD has shown me, my family and fellow Marines more support than I would have ever expected," DiStaso said in his nomination. "The constant support and assistance with my family and the families of Marines in my unit during our deployment has greatly increased my ability to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve.

The Freedom Award will be presented at a Sept. 18 ceremony in Washington, D.C.
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I'm not the one mentioned..same first name, different last name