essex county commissioners celebrate veterans day

Essex County Commissioners Veterans Day Celebration virtual ceremony. Pictured are honorees Joseph O. D’Arco (top row – middle), Stephanie J. Rudy (middle row – left) and Janice Kettles (middle row – center), Commissioner President Wayne L. Richardson, Commissioner Vice President Carlos Pomares, Commissioners Patricia Sebold and Brendan Gill, Clerk of the Board Deborah Davis Ford, and Essex County Director of Human Resources Jacqueline Jones (bottom row – middle). PHOTO BY ESSEX COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.

(Newark, NJ) – On Tuesday, November 9, 2021, the Essex County Board of County Commissioners held its 2021 Veterans Celebration via Zoom teleconference. The ceremony, which returned after a 1-year hiatus due to COVID-19, honored the patriotism and sacrifice of the men and women who have served our country, and recognized specific veterans of Essex County for their service.

Commissioner President Wayne L. Richardson opened the program with greetings to the honorees and viewing audience, and expressed his appreciation for the service and sacrifice of the veterans of Essex County and all veterans across the country. “On this momentous occasion, we honor those who have sacrificed their time, effort and in some cases, their very lives so that we, the civilians, can enjoy a life of liberty.” President Richardson stated. “So, to all veterans, we acknowledge you and we are privileged to stand on your shoulders.”

This year, the Board recognized three outstanding Essex County veterans for their service to our nation: Joseph O. D’Arco of Bloomfield (United States Army); Janice Kettles of Newark (United States Air Force Reserves); and Stephanie J. Rudy of Livingston (United States Navy).

Joseph O. D’Arco, introduced by Commissioner Vice President Carlos Pomares, proudly served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1967. He was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Medal, New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal, and the New Jersey Vietnam Service Medal. Following his service in the United States Army, he began his career in public service serving as the Municipal Administrator in the Borough of Caldwell, Township of Rockaway, South Orange Village, Sayreville Borough, the Township of Kearny, and the Borough of Paramus where he presently serves as the Borough Administrator.

Janice Kettles, introduced by Commissioner President Wayne Richardson, is a veteran of the United States Air Force Reserve, where she served for ten years. She has served as Chairman for the Veterans of Newark’s City-Wide Homeless Coalition, and was recently appointed to Governor Phil Murphy’s Commission for Women Veterans. She is a retired educator with the Newark Board of Education, and was designated “Educator of the Year” – Newark sector –  by the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. She is widely known for her compassionate service in Newark, the surrounding municipalities, and throughout the State of New Jersey. Affectionately known as “Kettles”, she can be observed in the community disseminating information and assisting residents with their concerns.

Stephanie J. Rudy, introduced by Commissioner Patricia Sebold, began her career at the United Nations working as a bilingual secretary in the Department of Technical Cooperation for Development. She left the United Nations in 1987 and went to Basic Training in the United States Navy. After graduating from Basic Training, she departed for her first two-year overseas assignment in Sigonella, Sicily as a Seaman Radioman. She also received a two-year assignment to go to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico where she rose to the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class. She left active duty in the Navy in March of 1992, and joined the Navy Reserve until her retirement in 2008 after 21-years of combined service in active and reserve duty.

Further highlights of the program included opening and closing prayers from Reverend Glenn Davis, and musical selections performed by Marlon Brown, a Combat Medic in the United States National Guard.

Looking for more information on the Essex County Board of Commissioners? The Essex County Commissioners Mobile App is now available for download on the Apple and Google Play Stores.


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Board of County Commissioners,
County of Essex
465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.,
Room 558 Hall of Records,
Newark, New Jersey 07102