Parents of soldiers who tragically lost their lives during active duty are being recognized through the Gold Star Parent ID program

Ocean County Clerk Scott Colabella said his office has issued more than 10,000 cards through the program which was established earlier this year after former Governor Chris Christie signed the legislation to create it.

During a pre-board meeting of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders on March 28, mothers who had lost a child spoke with pride about their child.

L-R: Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau, Noriko Kowalewski, Director Constituent Services for Congressman Tom MacArthur, Gold Star Parents Nino Parrello, Shirley Parrello, Dennis Zilinski, Marion Zilinski, and Eileen Daly, Freeholder John P. Kelly, liaison to the County Clerk’s office, Terry Fearon, veteran advocate, Freeholder Virginia E. Haines, Veterans Service Bureau Director John Dorrity, and Jay Hayden, Field Representative for Congressman MacArthur.

"You and your families have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Country and I want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done," Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, who also serves as liaison to the Ocean County Veterans Services said.

"Ocean county is - if not the first- one of the first counties in the state to implement this program. I join with the Freeholder board in thanking all of our Gold Star parents for joining us and for the ultimate sacrifice your child made on behalf of our nation so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today," Clerk Scott Colabella said.

Legal guardians or other legal custodians of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who died while on active duty for the United States will be able to have access to courtesies such as discounts.

"in addition to the veteran identification cards offered by the County Clerk, this program allows for family members of veterans to be recognized," Ocean County Freeholder and liaison to the OC Clerk's office, John P. "Jack" Kelly said.

The card displays the words "Gold Star Parent," has the name of the branch of the armed forces the person was serving as well as other identifying information.

Applicants must show:

  • Certification from an organization formed to support parents who have a child who lost their life.
  • The service members federal DD Form 1300.
  • Report of Casualty.


  • Documentation showing the applicant's relationship to the service member.

The program can be accessed at the County Connection at the Ocean County Mall, the Ocean County Courthouse and the Ocean County Southern Service Center.

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