Glen Rock man gets military service award at State Police graduation

Glen Rock man gets military service award at State Police graduation

August 29, 2014, 1:46 PM
Last updated: Friday, August 29, 2014, 1:46 PM
By STEFANIE DAZIO – The Record – http://www.northjersey.com

A 29-year-old Glen Rock man graduated from the State Police academy Friday morning in Toms River and earned the military service award for his class.

Paul Volpe finished the academy as part of the 154th class following 24 weeks of physical and academic training, the State Police said in a news release. They will be assigned to stations statewide for an 11-week probationary period.

Volpe received the Dennis Zilinski Military Service Award, presented to “the outstanding recruit who is currently serving or who has served in the U.S. military, and demonstrated active support and service to the class, and exemplifies the State Police’s service to the citizens of this state.”

Twenty-one percent of the graduates have prior military experience, according to the news release, and one-third are minorities.

Volpe enlisted in the Marines immediately following graduation from Glen Rock High School, according to “360: The Magazine of San Diego State University,” where he went to college.

He was deployed to Iraq eight months later, the magazine reported, and became the point-man during 14 night raids.

On Nov. 9, 2004, his platoon was ambushed during a medical evacuation operation, the article said. He was hit in the arm, calf and thigh with AK-47 rounds.

He later received a Purple Heart and left the Corps with a permanent disability.

“As crazy as it sounds, I would do it all over again,” he told the magazine.

At the graduation ceremony, Trooper II Jason Serrano, Trooper Luis Cardenas, and Trooper Mohamed Hussein were honored for rescuing a tractor-trailer driver last week who crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike and was found treading water in Overpeck Creek. They jumped into the water fully-clothed and helped get him out safely.

They each received the State Police’s Citation of Meritorious Service.

Email: dazio@northjersey.com

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