A welcome home parade to celebrate the return of New Jersey National Guard Soldiers from the 50th Infantry Brigade was held at the World War II Memorial in Trenton on Friday, June 12. Four members of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office were part of the brigade which consisted of 3000 soldiers. Sheriff’s Officer Jose Medina of Howell Township, Sheriff’s Officer Rodger Miller of Middletown Township, Corrections Officer Nicholas Sansevero of Toms River and Corrections Officer Sean Farrell of Jackson Township were deployed in Iraq for one year as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “This is an amazing day,” said Sheriff’s Officer Jose Medina. “I’m proud to serve my country and happy to be home, united with my family.”
The 50th Infantry Brigade marks the end of the largest overseas deployment of the New Jersey National Guard since World War II.
“This is a day to say thank you to all these brave men and women who sacrifice so much for our country,” said Sheriff Kim Guadagno. “I’m proud to have had four of my officers serve in this brigade and would like to pay tribute to their families who had to endure the hardships of having a loved one overseas.”
In the past year the combat team conducted missions involving detainee operations, convoy security, force protection and operating an Area Support Group. “Our entire brigade was spread throughout Iraq. The mission was challenging, but I was happy to be a part of such a fine brigade,” said Corrections Officer Sean Farrell.
Members of the Sheriff’s Office who remain on active duty includes Sheriff’s Officer Richard Coppinger, who is with the Air National Guard serving in Qatar, and Corrections Officers Robert Hislip and Richard Hamilton, both serving in the U.S. Marine Corp. Reserves.