Noting Ocean County is home to the largest veteran population in the state and the township having the largest number of veterans in the County, it made perfect sense to open a satellite office of the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau on Lacey Road in Manchester.
With ceremonial scissors in hand and the red ribbon draping the stairs to the entrance, Ocean County and Manchester Township officials joined with local veterans and staff of the County Veterans Service Bureau to mark the opening of the office at 82 Lacey Road on Oct. 17.
“The men and women who served and continue to serve in our armed forces will always be the backbone of our freedoms and democracy,” said Deputy Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Gary Quinn, liaison to the Veterans Service Bureau. “It’s because of their selfless sacrifices that we live in the greatest country in the world. Their service will always be remembered and recognized in Ocean County.”
Manchester Township Mayor Robert Arace said today’s opening was in response to meeting a need that would add more services to the Whiting section of the township.
“We noticed earlier this year that one of our biggest areas of need was Whiting,” Arace said. “With the highest population of retirees and the highest population of veterans, there was a tremendous need in Whiting for easy accessible services for our residents. This culmination of Manchester senior services along with the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau will be a great resource for our residents.”
The Manchester Township senior services also has offices in the building which houses EMT services for Whiting.
Quinn noted that the veterans service office will also serve as a regional satellite helping veterans in neighboring municipalities access services.
“Ocean County with almost 640 square miles can at times be tough to get around. We have been hard at work getting services directly to our residents and this satellite office will certainly help in our efforts to do that,” Quinn said. “From Toms River to Stafford Township and now to Manchester Township, our veterans can get information and help at locations closer to home.
“Convenience is so important when it comes to accessing services that can help keep a roof over your head, food on your table, transportation, medical assistance, and so much more support that is available,” he said.
He added that more than 30,000 veterans call Ocean County home.
“As they age, our veterans need help in navigating what can be a challenging system to access the benefits they deserve,” Quinn said. “That is what brings us here today.”
The satellite office will be open three days a week – from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Appointments can be made by calling the main office in Toms River of the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau at 732-929-2096. The Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau main office is located at 1027 Hooper Ave., Building 2, Toms River, and another satellite is located at the Ocean County Southern Service Center, 79 Main Street, Manahawkin.
Director of the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau G.R. Philip Zimmerman Jr. extended his thanks to everyone involved in the partnership that brought the satellite office to Manchester Township.
“The most powerful words a person can say is thank you,” Zimmerman said. “I want to say thank you to the seniors, residents and veterans. One of our many sayings is we leave no one behind and we have to take care of our community.
“I look forward to a successful and dynamic endeavor here with our new office,” he added.