RELEASE: Gottheimer Presents Army Bicentennial Bronze Medal to WWII Air Corps Bomber Ahead of 102nd Birthday

Nov 11, 2019

Above: Gottheimer presents Paramus resident and World War II U.S. Army Air Corps veteran Michael Diederich with the U.S. Army Bicentennial Bronze Medal today.

PARAMUS, NJ – Today, Monday, November 11, 2019, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) honored Veterans Day and presented U.S. Army Air Corps veteran, Sergeant Michael Diederich (Ret.), who completed thirty-five missions over Germany during World War II as a nose gunner and bombardier in a B24 bomber, with the U.S. Army Bicentennial Bronze Medal.

Gottheimer also brought Diederich, who is turning 102-years-old on November 20th, with birthday cards from Fifth District Boys and Girls Clubs, bringing him closer to his 102 birthday card goal.

“It’s an absolute honor and privilege to hear the Sergeant’s story, and to thank him for his service to our great country. I’m especially lucky to be able to spend time with so many of our bravest veterans,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “It is our duty as Americans not only to honor these men and women, but to do everything we can to fight for them when they return, to ensure they have the care they need, the benefits they were promised, and the support we all owe them.”

During this Congress, Gottheimer has helped lead several initiatives to fight for North Jersey’s veterans:

  • Congressman Gottheimer is working with New Jersey’s VA Director to lower wait times and drive times for veterans; boost access to closer doctors, hospitals, and other facilities; create a female veteran-focused clinic in New Jersey; and increase mental health care access in Newton and Bergen.
  • The House passed Congressman Gottheimer’s bipartisan legislation to invest in filling the more than 49,000 vacant positions at the VA.
  • The House passed Congressman Gottheimer’s bipartisan legislation to increase investment for the Veterans Health Administration to specifically hire more mental health professionals.
  • Congressman Gottheimer cosponored and helped pass H.R. 299 – the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, on a 410 to zero vote, to extend disability benefits covering medical conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure to those who served on ships off the coast of Vietnam, known as “Blue Water” Navy veterans. The President signed this bill into law this year.
  • Congressman Gottheimer presented Tuskegee Airmen Bronze Medal to 100-year-old veteran Private Roscoe Draper at his home in Westwood.


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