Above: Gottheimer with retired Navy veteran and Park Ridge resident Bruce McNamara.
WASHINGTON, DC – On July 27, 2020, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) hosted a virtual event on Facebook Live with U.S. Navy veteran and Park Ridge resident Bruce McNamara, grandson of late World War I U.S. Army veteran Harry P. McNamara Jr., and presented service medals Harry McNamara Jr. earned serving in France in WWI.
Gottheimer’s office worked with the U.S. Army to acquire service medals owed to Harry McNamara Jr., so that the McNamara family could fully honor his service in World War I:
· The World War I Victory Medal with Meuse-Argonne Battle Clasp and France Service Clasp; and
· The World War I Victory Button – Bronze.
“We must always have the backs of those who have had ours: the brave men and women who have served our nation and defended our freedoms. I’m proud to have Bruce join me today to honor his grandfather’s service, and for us to be able to recognize his grandfather with these medals he earned serving our great nation in France during World War I,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Bruce comes from a long family line of service members, including his grandfather, father, brother and uncle. On behalf of the entire North Jersey community, I want to thank the McNamarafamily for their decades of service.”
Gottheimer continued, “If any veteran or family members in the Fifth District have an issue with a federal agency, securing veterans benefits, or service recognitions, please reach out to me — my door is always open.”
Bruce had been attempting to get World War I medals for his grandfather for several years — with no success. He contacted Gottheimer’s office and worked with the constituent casework team, which was able to recover the medals.
Bruce McNamara enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1977, and served aboard submarines, specifically the Poseidon submarine USS Lewis & Clark. Brucewas deployed six times in the North Atlantic, including two below the Arctic Circle, and finished his tour as a Machinist Mate 2nd Class, having worked with auxiliary and atmosphere control equipment. He was honorably discharged in 1981.
Bruce’s grandfather, Harry McNamara Jr., served in the U.S. Army in World War I — from 1917-1919 as a wagoner in the 305th Ammunition Train, ferrying ammunition to the frontlines.
Bruce’s father, Harry P. McNamara III, served in World War II in the infantry, from 1944-1946, and was a part of the 75th Infantry Division, 289th Regiment, Anti Tank Company. One of the unit’s many heroic actions included liberating a concentration camp.