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Vets restore Sandy victim’s lost heirloom
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Vets restore Sandy victim’s lost heirloom

Flag given in memory of Breezy Point man was destroyed in fire

In a spirit of interfaith cooperation, the Jewish War Veterans post in Wayne is helping the widow of an army veteran replace an heirloom lost when her home in Breezy Point, Brooklyn, burned to the ground.

Like more than 100 of her neighbors in the shorefront community, Marie LoPresti’s home was flooded by the waters of Hurricane Sandy, then devastated by flames on Oct. 29.

“She lost everything,” said Sol Moglen, a senior vice commander of JWV Post 695. “But one of the things she misses most is the American flag presented to her by the Veterans Administration when her husband, Anthony, died two years ago.”

Although the flag LoPresti received at her husband’s funeral was burned, officials at the VA told her they cannot issue a second one.

Moglen was eager to make sure that LoPresti — whom he met through veterans’ connections — would get a replacement.

“They have a policy that says a flag cannot be replaced if it is lost, destroyed, or stolen,” Moglen told NJJN in Nov. 28 phone interview. “I felt as a Jewish war veteran that it is important and we have to do it. I think it is nice to show interfaith in action, and this is exactly what we are doing. We are showing that as Jewish war veterans we have the ability to help people who aren’t Jewish.”

Moglen, an ex-Brooklynite who now lives in Caldwell, is familiar with navigating bureaucracy with the intention of honoring servicemen and women. He previously spearheaded a successful effort to establish a Jewish Chaplains Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Moglen phoned a contact at Dignity Memorial, a chain with some 1,600 funeral homes that was involved in honoring the chaplains.

“Not only is Dignity giving her a flag but the triangular case it will go into,” he said.

Moglen presented the flag to LoPresti, who is now living with a sister in Hawthorne, on Dec. 1.

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