- Posted March 5, 2013 by
Lincroft, New Jersey
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Salute to troops
- DESPITE THE STORMS, GOD IS STILL SPEAKING ON THE JERSEY SHORE!
- Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund Launches K9 Sgt. Denny Dog Walk Supporting Military Working Dogs & Service Dogs for Wounded Warriors
- Olympic Gold Wrestler Gardner Takes IOC to the Mat
- KPI BRIDGE OIL DONATES $25K TO OPERATION PROVIDE COMFORT
- OPERATION PROVIDE COMFORT SAYS “TACK A TEN” FOR UNION BEACH
VIETNAM VETERAN RELAYS THE IMPORTANCE OF A CALL HOME TO STUDENTS AT CHRISTIAN BROTHERS ACADEMY
This year’s event featured special guest speaker Lou Giammarino (pictured above R), a NJ-native. Lou not only donated $500 to the cause, he talked about how important calling home was when he was a member of the Marine Corp serving in Vietnam in 1970-1971.
Giammarino’s mother won a local newspaper contest for a “free” call home. Giammarino told a humorous and poignant story of his travails to get to a phone just to call his family. He said that one call made his entire tour seem shorter and was incredibly important to him.
Marion Zilinski (pictured above L), founder of the Lt. Dennis Zilinski II Memorial Foundation and mother of Lt. Dennis Zilinski, noted that the phone cards purchased with the evening’s proceeds would be given to soldiers who don’t really have the funds to call home. She noted that Giammarino’s story was ample proof that calls home are “a connection to love.”
“This is a tremendous educational experience for our students,” said Bill Frake, CBA faculty advisor for SADD. “It allows them to make a difference in the lives of our service members so they can stay in contact with their families. It also allows them to honor Dennis and carry his legacy of helping others move forward.”
Lt. Dennis Zilinski II grew up in Middletown, NJ and graduated from Christian Brothers Academy, where he was a member of the swim team. He received his nomination to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated in 2004. He also completed Airborne School while a student at West Point.
After graduation from Ranger School, he was assigned to the 1/187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) “Rakkasan”. He deployed with the 101st Airborne Division on September 17, 2005. Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II died in Iraq on November 19, 2005 as a result of a roadside bombing near Bayji, 155 miles north of Baghdad. Lt. Zilinski’s medals include: Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Global War on Terror, Iraq Campaign Service Medal and the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal.
At the close of the evening, Marion Zilinski reminded and urged everyone to “Tell the people you love that you love them!”
As an act of that love, Dennis’ family and friends founded The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund, whose mission is to continue to serve and assist returning men and women who were wounded in service to our nation. The fund also supports scholarships at CBA.
For more information please visit: www.runwithdennis.org or email RunwithDennis@yahoo.com.