Yogi Berra Museum to Host Free Veterans Resources Fair
Little Falls, NJ - In honor of Veterans Day and Yogi Berra's D-Day service to his country, the Yogi Berra Museum &Learning Center will host its second annual drop-in resources fair for military veterans and their supporters, leveraging the universal attraction of sports - and Yogi - to provide assistance to individuals in need of help. The event, which is free to the public, is sponsored by the law firm Duane Morris. A highlight of the afternoon will be the presentation of the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal (DSM), the state's highest military award, to Gerard Sorell, a 92-year-old Austrian-born veteran who escaped the Nazis to serve the United States during World War II.
From noon to 5 p.m., the Museum will be filled with a wide selection of veterans' service providers offering probono guidance, information and resources that cover a range of interest areas, including:
- health administration
- benefits administration (i.e. claims, compensation)
- medical health resources
- mental health resources
- legal consultation
- community, town, county & state services
In addition, the event will feature a 44-foot Mobile Vet Center stationed in front of the Museum. The day will include vintage baseball films in the stadium-style theater, ballpark fare, crafts and activities for kids.
"We launched our Veterans Resources Fair last year, as a new way to sustain Yogi's values for a new generation," says Eve Schaenen, the Museum's Executive Director. "The response from the veterans' community was tremendous, making it an easy decision for us to hold the fair again. We're incredibly grateful to Duane Morris and the vendors willing to join us in support of our efforts to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who served.
At 2 p.m. the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal (DSM), will be presented to Gerard Sorell, World War II veteran. A member of the "Greatest Generation," Sorell was born in Vienna in 1926. His family fled the Nazis, eventually landing in New York City. In June 1944 Sorell was drafted into the U.S. Army. In March 1945 his outfit spearheaded the crossing of the Rhine into the German heartland, where he sustained severe ear nerve damage. He went on to serve as an interpreter and interrogator of German prisoners-of-war and government officials. After the war, Sorell studied at Princeton University on the G.I. Bill, where he received degrees in chemical engineering. An accomplished violinist, he also served as Concertmaster and occasional soloist in the Princeton University Orchestra. An avid competitive tennis player who played the sport until just last year, Sorell raised his family in the Caldwells.
Reflecting on his years of military service, Sorell said: "Having fled from my native Austria in 1938 to escape the Holocaust, it was enormously gratifying to return to Europe in the U.S. Infantry in World War II and help defeat the Germans, and during the occupation, flushing out Nazi bigwigs as an interrogator assigned to the Counter Intelligence Corps."
Yogi Berra received the DSM posthumously at a ceremony in the Museum in March of this year.
About The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center:
The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center is a nonprofit sports education organization on the campus of Montclair State (NJ) University. The Museum's mission is to preserve and promote the values of perseverance, respect, sportsmanship and excellence through inclusive, culturally diverse, sports-based educational exhibits and programs.
For additional information about the Museum, please visit www.yogiberramuseum.org or call 973.655.2378.
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