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Judi Hundemann's fiancee, Michael Burke an Afghanistan combat veteran, committed suicide in October of 2015. Here, Judi and their daughter Arya Burke, 3, look at photos that include Michael. / Russ DeSantis | For NJ Advance Media

Judi Hundemann's fiancee, Michael Burke an Afghanistan combat veteran, committed suicide in October of 2015. Here, Judi and their daughter Arya Burke, 3, look at photos that include Michael. / Russ DeSantis | For NJ Advance Media

There is no bronze nameplate for Michael Patrick Burke on Ocean County's monument to the 13 men who died in Iraq or Afghanistan.

He is not listed with Army Spc. Christopher Duffy, 26, of Brick, the first casualty, or Marine Cpl. Christopher Monahan, 25, of Ocean Gate, the last, or the 11 men in between.  The men on the memorial died between 2004 to 2012, and include Marine Maj. James Weis, 37, and Navy Seal Denis Miranda, 24, both of Toms River.
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(left to right)  Michael P. Pasquale  , attorney; speaks as Lech Sierpowski of Bloomfield, former member of the US Marine Corps who fought in the Iraq War; listens to his remarks at the law offices of Michael P. Pasquale, LLC, in Montclair. Pasquale is representing Sierpowski in his struggle to attain greater veteran benefits. 04/28/2016 PPhoto by Jerry McCrea for NJ Advance Media

(left to right) Michael P. Pasquale , attorney; speaks as Lech Sierpowski of Bloomfield, former member of the US Marine Corps who fought in the Iraq War; listens to his remarks at the law offices of Michael P. Pasquale, LLC, in Montclair. Pasquale is representing Sierpowski in his struggle to attain greater veteran benefits. 04/28/2016 PPhoto by Jerry McCrea for NJ Advance Media

When Lech Sierpowski goes to the screening of "Thank You for Your Service" at the Montclair Film Festival Tuesday night, it will trigger some of the anger and despair he lives with every day.

He will leave it agitated; he will wonder why, again, the country he served didn't see problems like his coming 

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Star Ledger, February 26, 2016
Film documents mental health crisis for the war-torn
By Mark DiOnno

When combat veterans trickled home from Vietnam, they had a bleak expression to describe the reception they received.

"--- you for your service."

But those were different times, right?

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Baristanet, November 6, 2015
Helping Disabled Vets Left Behind
By Christina Gillham 

Michael Pasquale has never served in the military, but his father and both of his grandfathers were Marines. Still, it was not their service that led Pasquale to begin working with injured war veterans.

It was a 46-year old civil engineer and “weekend warrior” – those U.S. reservists who are normally called to duty to deal with natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes – who returned from an unexpected deployment to Iraq in 2006 ... read more


Montclair Times, November 5, 2015
More Than A Day
By Lisa Marie Segarra

As this veterans day approaches, the nation's population has fewer and fewer connection to people who have served or are currently serving, and less than one percent serve themselves. However, one Montclair nonprofit is working to make sure service members are remembered. 

In June, Montclair native, Michael  Pasquale started Officers of the Courts, a nonprofit providing free legal representation for those who were wounded ... read more


Star Ledger, May 24, 2015
This Memorial Day, let's also remember those who nearly made 'the ultimate sacrifice' 
By Mark DiOnno

And now for a Memorial Day history lesson.

The American tradition of treating veterans badly started right here in New Jersey. The Pennsylvania Line of Continental Army --- with their enlistments up -- were forced to stay in service. When they walked off the job at Jockey Hollow in 1781, citing deplorable conditions and lousy pay, it was called a mutiny.

When the New Jersey Line tried it a few weeks later in Pequannock, two mutineers where shot by firing squad.

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